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[Born 1S36 — Died igiS] 












I H 1920 L 

Copyright, 1920, by 

Published October, 1020 

CONTENTS tl^^^^ 


I. Danskammer 3 

II. New York When I Was a Boy 30 

III. My Brothers 57 

IV. The South Before the War 72 

V. At College 88 

VI. Travels and a Shipwreck 103 

VII. New York When I Was a Young Man 125 

VIII. Rome — Church and State 154 

IX. Some Roman Friends 188 

X. The Campagna 215 

XI. Venice 240 

XII. Saint Caudens and Others 258 V* 

XIII. Some Pleasant Summers 288 

XIV. The Century Club 303 

XV. My Farm at Danskammer 329 




"To the heart of youth the world is a highway side. 
Passing forever he fares; and on either hand. 
Deep in the gardens the golden pavilions hide, 

Nestle in orchard bloom, and far on the level land 
Call him with lighted lamp in the eventide." 

— Stevenson. 

I was born on the 15th of April, 1836, at Dans- 
kammer on the Hudson, near Newburgh. The date on 
the house at Danskammer is 1834, so I have always as- 
sumed that I was born in that house, although at the time 
my father, Edward Armstrong, bought the place, about 
1822, there was an old house near the edge of the bank 
sloping down to the river, a rather fine colonial building 
with two wings. When this house was torn down to make 
way for our new one, one of the wings was moved back 
of the Danskammer stable and used for many years as a 
carpenter-shop; the walls were hard-finished and the orna- 
mental ceiling and woodwork bore evidence of its having 
been a part of a handsome house, probably the dining- 
room. On the place at that time was a carpenter named 
Edgar Bloomer, whom my mother hired by the year and 
who did his work in this room. He was a nice man, and 
as a child I liked to be out there with him, watching the 
long shavings curl into ringlets before his plane and build- 
ing houses with the blocks that he sawed off. I had four 
brothers — Henry, Gouverneur, Charles, and Jack — and 
this room was our lounging-place; especially on rainy days, 



we had lots of fun there. Harry was an ingenious fellow 
and by working there with Edgar Bloomer he became an 
excellent carpenter and could build almost anything. 

After my father bought Danskammer he added to it 
various farms until he had a river-front of about two miles, 
from Mudhole nearly to Hampton — both these little places 
have changed their names and are now known as Roseton 
and Cedar Cliff. Danskammer is one of the few names that 
appear on the very oldest maps, and it was Henry Hudson, 
according to tradition, who christened the pretty wooded 
point that curves out into the river near our house, and 
called it Duyvil's Danskammer — Devil's Dancechamber — 
when he sailed up the river in the Half Moon and saw a 
group of Indians dancing in the firelight on the flat rock 
that crowned the point in those days. This Indian rock 
was broken off" some years ago when the steamer Cornell 
was wrecked there on a foggy night, and the little light- 
house that stands there now was built after the accident. 

My father had a substantial taste in houses; he built 
his new house of granite, in the classic style which was the 
fashion of the day, and finished it throughout in black wal- 
nut. The dark-colored granite came from Breakneck, near 
Cornwall, and the light granite of which the columns and 
trimmings are made was from Quincy, Massachusetts. I 
have heard that when the columns were landed at our dock 
there was a great question as to how to get them up the 
hill, as they were enormous. They finally drilled holes 
in the ends and made rollers of the columns themselves, 
and by attaching a tongue were able to roll them up to 
the house. 

At that time, before the brick-yards came, scarring 
the landscape and even gnawing away our lawns and 
gardens, the situation was beautiful, crowning a wooded 



plateau, with a sweeping view across Newburgh bay to 
the Highlands. We had a delightful bathing-beach of firm 
white sand, now of course swallowed up by the West Shore 
Railroad, and a dock where large vessels could land. The 
river was very gay in those pre-raihvay days, dotted w^ith 
hundreds of sails, sloops, and schooners plying between New 
York and Albany. In very old times my people came from 
New York in sailboats — "safe, fast and commodious river 
sloops" — but when I was a boy they used the big steamers. 
When I was young there was a horse-boat ferry from Hamp- 
ton to New Hamburg, a curious affair with a huge wheel 
flat on the deck, operated by two horses, one on each side 
on treadmills that turned the two paddle-wheels. When 
that was given up we had to use sailboats or row across, 
and we made it a point of honor always to cross the river 
day or night, no matter what the weather was like. 

My father settled in this part of the country because 
my grandfather, Colonel William Armstrong, of the British 
army, had been greatly struck by the beauty of the neigh- 
borhood when he visited Newburgh during the Revolu- 
tion. Colonel Armstrong was a Scotchman; he got his 
commission as lieutenant in the 17th Foot when he was 
nineteen, and soon after came to this country with Sir 
Henry Clinton, and served all through the Revolution, 
being wounded in the battle of Princeton, and losing an 
eye in the battle of Stony Point. He surrendered with 
Cornwallis at Yorktown. It is amusing to remember that 
my wife's grandfather. Colonel Nicholas Fish, was also 
present at Yorktown, on the winning side; I wonder if the 
two grandfathers ever met. 

My grandfather was sent to Newburgh under a flag of 
truce to see Washington at his headquarters. He said 
after the interview that he had never been so much im- 


pressed by any man as by Washington, though he had 
met many of the distinguished men of his time, among 
them Napoleon and Wellington; and he gave it as his 
opinion that a country fighting under such a leader could 
not fail of victory. The late Doctor Forsyth, of New- 
burgh, who knew my grandfather well, told me this anec- 
dote at the Century Club in New York some years ago. 

In the War of 1812 my grandfather became colonel of 
the Nova Scotia Fencibles, but late in hfe was naturalized 
as an American citizen. His army chest in my studio is 
a huge and ponderous affair of solid English walnut and 
brass. Histories mention that the British in the battle 
of Princeton were "much encumbered with baggage." 

Firearms were a hobby of my grandfather's. We used 
to have the model of a gun that he had invented for the 
British army. I don't know that it was ever used. Stu- 
pidly enough, it was given away to a farmer, a neighbor 
at Danskammer, by one of my brothers when I was a boy. 
Colonel Armstrong left a fine collection of guns and pistols, 
among them the pair of pistols, made by Twigg, which were 
used in the Burr-Hamilton duel in 1804. The seconds 
came to him to borrow pistols, as he was known to have 
the best in New York. The one that shot Hamilton is 
marked with a cross. My grandfather was much annoyed 
at having one of his handsomest pistols marred by this 
cross cut on the butt, which he considered a liberty, and 
some rather acrimonious correspondence ensued on the 
subject. Later he gave them to his eldest son, Henry, 
who was in the British army and used them in India, but 
when Henry was killed there the pistols were returned to 
my grandfather, who left them to my uncle. Commodore 
Salter. The commodore intended to bequeath them in 
his turn to the Navy Lyceum at the Brooklyn Navy Yard 



— in fact, he had promised them to the curator — but my 
brother Harry persuaded him to give them to him instead. 
Harry at his death left them to my son Noel, and he has 
them now. 

It brings that bygone tragedy near to me when I recall 
that Harry, when he was about fourteen, had the privilege 
of listening to the story of the famous duel as related by 
Major William Popham, Burr's most intimate friend, at 
that time the only survivor of General Washington's aides. 
You may imagine with what keen interest the boy hstened 
to the old soldier, who had known all the parties concerned 
in the duel, and my grandfather as well. I wish I had 
heard him tell about it myself. 

Colonel Armstrong had three children by his first wife, 
Christian Amiel, a French lady; the two sons were named 
Henry Bruen and David Affleck, after Enghsh generals 
who were his friends. By his second wife, Margaret Mar- 
shall, my grandmother, he had four — Edward, Margaret, 
Charles Marshall, and Rose. (Aunt Rose was named 
Rosetta, after the place in Egypt where the "Rosetta 
stone" was found, because, for some now forgotten reason, 
my grandfather was interested in a battle that was fought 
there.) It is strange that of all my grandfather's children 
and grandchildren I am the only one who has left any 

Margaret Marshall and her sister Janet lived with their 
stepfather, John Ramsay, sometimes in New York or 
Philadelphia, and sometimes in EHzabeth Town, as EHza- 
beth was called in the days when it "contained an unusual 
number of pohte families." And wherever the Ramsays 
and Marshalls happened to be living they had a remarkably 
good time, judging from their hvely letters and all the pretty 
little visiting-cards and invitations they left behind them. 



My great-aunt Janet married first John Rucker (her 
granddaughter married General Phil Sheridan), and second 
Alexander Macomb, the ''speculator," father of General 
Macomb of the War of 1812. He deserved his nickname, 
for the enterprises he embarked on with Robert Morris 
and WiHiam Duer — such as buying four million acres in 
western New York at eighteen cents an acre — were on a 
grand scale; too grand, indeed, for Duer, who landed in 
jail. Macomb's Dam Bridge, part of his farm, perpetu- 
ates the name of this old gentleman in New York. 

Margaret Marshall was a belle, so it is not surprising 
that she had a romance before meeting my grandfather. 
As a young girl she became engaged to a Spanish gentle- 
man, Senor Rendon, secretary of the Spanish Legation. 
They never married. I gather from his letters — both 
voluminous and passionate — that the King would not 
allow him to form an alhance with an American. Don 
Gardoqui, the first Spanish minister to this country, gave 
Miss Marshall two little marble busts of Caesar and Scan- 
tilla, which now stand on my parlor mantelpiece in New 
York, and I also have an interesting pastel of Madame 
Van Berckel, wife of the first Dutch minister, given to my 
grandmother by Van Berckel's daughter. (She went to 
the West Indies and never returned. I beheve the ship 
was lost.) 

My old friend Judge Kent knew Colonel Armstrong 
when his daughters were young and much admired. My 
grandfather was a peppery old gentleman, and when 
young Judge Kent — though I suppose he was not a judge 
then — went to the Armstrongs' house one night with some 
other young men to serenade the young ladies, the colonel 
appeared at an upper window with a gun and threatened 
to shoot if they did not desist. 



My grandfather died before I was born, but my brother 
Harry remembered his taking a walk with him wearing a 
black patch over one eye and his hair in a pigtail. The 
old gentleman bought a card of peppermints for the little 
boy; in those days peppermints came stuck in rows on 
bits of pasteboard. 

A family sorrow, bitter in its da}^ but carrying only a 
flavor of romance by the time I arrived upon the scene, 
was the death of my uncle Henry, my grandfather's eldest 
son by his first marriage. He was also in the British 
army, fought in Spain and was at the battle of Corunna 
and in the famous retreat; perhaps he was at the burial of 
Sir John Moore, when "not a drum was heard, not a 
funeral note." Henry was killed at the siege of Bhurt- 
poor in India — "leading a forlorn hope, blown up by a 
mine," I was told as a child. Bhurtpoor, the capital of 
the Jats, was a formidable fortress, and it took the British 
two months to reduce it, but finally, on the i8th of Jan- 
uary, 1826, they exploded ten thousand pounds of powder 
in the chief mine and entered the city through a breach in 
the wall, incidentally losing six hundred men, among them 
my uncle Henry — but "the moral effect was deep and 
lasting," the histories tell us. The news was a terrible 
blow to his family. My aunt Rose told my brother 
Harry that they were all sitting at the breakfast-table 
when the Albion, a British newspaper, was brought in and 
my grandfather found his son's name among the list of 
the slain. 

My father, Edward Armstrong, also followed my grand- 
father into the British army. I have his commission 
signed by George IV, in which he is styled "Edward Arm- 
strong, Gentleman," and made an ensign in the 104th 
Regiment of Foot. He was then ten years old — they 



caught them young in those days. I don't know whether 
or not he resigned from the army immediately after he 
married, but in old letters he is addressed as captain. 

It was at "Morrisania," the old Morris place in West- 
chester, that my father met my mother for the first time. 
She was Sarah Hartley Ward, the daughter of Colonel 
John Ward, of Carolina, and was making the Morrises a 
visit with her sister Mary, who also met her future hus- 
band, Gouverneur Morris Wilkins, on this occasion. I 
have heard that the coming of the Misses Ward from 
Charleston to New York was something of an event in 
the restricted society of that time, and doubtless many 
young men were interested in the advent of these heiresses. 
My father and mother were married in 1822 at the house 
of Doctor Wilkes, St. John's Park, in Trinity parish. 
They had seven children, only four of whom lived to grow 
up. I was the youngest. 

My father was one of the handsomest men of his time. 
When Lord Stanley, later Earl of Derby, visited America 
he went to Charleston with my father and attended church 
there with him. All the girls were on the lookout to see 
the nobleman. But they mistook my father for Lord 
Stanley and said it was easy to see that a British nobleman 
was much more distinguished-looking than any American. 
I have a miniature of him by Rogers; it was then the cus- 
tom for a man to present his miniature to his fiancee, and 
this was his gift to my mother at the time of their mar- 
riage. He was an accomplished man; he drew, and wTote 
poetry, played the viohn, and had some knowledge of 
medicine. He was a great favorite; my Aunt Margaret 
Salter told me that when he was at a ball, if he saw a plain 
girl having no attention, he would make a point of dancing 
with her and trying to give her a good time, and old Mrs. 



Chrystie said he could cut the most beautiful double pigeon- 
wing she ever saw. He was loved by all his neighbors, 
high and low. 

My father was athletic, a splendid shot and rider, an 
adept in all manly arts, and up to all the sports of the 
time. He raised many fine race-horses, chiefly sired by 
"Sir Henry," famous for his race with "EcHpse"; but my 
mother objected to racing, so only once did he enter a 
horse for a race and that was not for money, but for a 
"pipe of wine." Whether he won or not I don't know. 
Many of the famous trotting-horses of Orange County are 
descended from thoroughbred mares that my father owned. 
Old people have told me how well my father looked on 
his favorite horse, a mahogany bay named Frank, which 
I remember perfectly. He also had a particularly favorite 
gun, a muzzle-loader made by Westley Richards, which he 
always used. 

My family were all exceedingly fond of shooting and 
fishing; their old letters almost always mention the size 
of the trout that had been caught or the number of birds 
that had been shot lately. When I was a boy the shoot- 
ing was still good in our neighborhood, even wild pigeons 
were still plentiful — my father writes to Uncle Charles of 
killing sixty-two in one day — but they are now entirely 
extinct. In an old book of travels in the State of New 
York in 1783 the author speaks of the pigeons breeding 
in infinite numbers: "In a valley where they nested, for 
six or eight miles nearly every tree had a number of nests, 
and some trees not less than fifteen or twenty." M3' 
father used to go off on long hunting expeditions with an 
intimate friend of his, the Honorable Charles Augustus 
Murray, grandson of Lord Dunmore, the last English 
governor of Virginia, notorious for having burned Norfolk. 



Partly because of the fine shooting, but also as a specula- 
tion, my father and Mr. Murray bought several farms 
together in Pennsylvania in the centre of the coal region. 
Unfortunately the resources remained undeveloped while 
in their hands, and in the end the land was sold to the 

Mr. Murray was a great traveller. He stayed some 
years over here, much of the time being spent among the 
savage tribes of American Indians in the Far West, mak- 
ing what he called a "summer residence" with the Paw- 
nees, and recounted his adventures in a most interesting 
book of ''Travels." In a letter to my father Mr. Murray 
gives an account of a ride he took from Danskammer to 
Albany in 1834, stopping on the way to see the Hosack 
place at Hyde Park, where he was shown around the 
grounds by young Mrs. Hosack. Alas, where is "young 
Mrs. Hosack" now! The Hosack place, which Doctor 
Hosack bought from Doctor Bard in 1830, has always been 
celebrated for its beauty — great trees crowning a broad 
plateau in full view of the Catskills. The old colonial 
house was torn down about twenty years ago and replaced 
by one built by McKim, Mead and White for Frederick 
Vanderbilt. Doctor Hosack must have been a nice old 
fellow as well as a great scientist; he gave a strawberry 
festival every year in his garden in New York for the 
students in his classes at Columbia. 

From Albany Mr. Murray went to Geneseo, where he 
stayed with the Wadsworths, and wrote: "The extensive 
farms formed a scene to delight the eye of a Poussin or a 
Sir J. Sinclair, but possessed less interest to a contempla- 
tive mind than the venerable and excellent gentleman who 
had almost created it. For it is now forty-four years since 
Mr. W. came as the first settler to this spot, with his axe 



on his shoulder and slept the first night under a tree. 
He is now the universally esteemed possessor of a demesne 
which many of the proudest nobility of Europe might 
look upon with envy." This enthusiastic guest must have 
made an equally pleasant impression on his hosts, for later 
he married Elizabeth Wadsworth. Mr. Murray was am- 
bassador to Persia and several other courts, and was at 
one time Master of the Household to Queen Victoria. 
One of his letters, speaking of the Queen's marriage and 
describing Prince Albert, has an engraving at the top of 
the page of Buckingham Palace, the window^ of his room 
marked with a cross, "for the children." Of course he 
often came to stay with us at Danskammer. My brother 
Gouverneur remembered that on one occasion Harry and 
he ran races together and Mr. Murray offered them 
shillings as prizes or tips; as independent Americans the 
boys refused them, and Gouv remembered that my father 
was not pleased, because English boys were always ready 
to take tips. 

My father died in 1840. Though I w^as about four 
years old I do not remember him. All I remember is 
going to the door of the large "north room" at Danskam- 
mer, and looking in and seeing something covered by a 
sheet; I knew it was he and that he was lying there dead. 
He died of scarlet fever just a few days after the death 
from the same disease of my only sister, httle Mary. 

We all had scarlet fever at the same time. I got off 
very lightly and was out and around while the others were 
still in their rooms. Old Doctor Van CIcek allowed no 
refreshing drinks, not even water, or fruit; so Harry, who 
was imprisoned in Aunt Rose's room on the second floor, 
used to let down a doubled-up jack-knife on a string, to 
which I would fasten pears, peaches, and plums, and he 



would hoist them up. One day he managed to crawl out 
of bed and drank the whole contents of the water-pitcher 
on the wash-stand, after which he went to sleep and woke 
up cured. At the time my father died my mother was so 
ill that she could not be told of his death or of that of her 
little girl until much later. 

My earliest recollection is an adventure I had with my 
little sister Mary when she was six and I was four. I have 
only this one memory of her. Mary and I were out in the 
"sugar-loaf" field alone, standing on the bank of the brook 
near the bridge, when suddenly a little "skilly-pot" turtle 
scuttled across the brook, which excited us so much that we 
both fell off into the water. It was shallow and there was 
no danger, but we both got a good wetting and were afraid 
to go home in that condition, so we went to the top of the 
hill at the end of the avenue and tried to dry ourselves in the 
sun. Not being very successful in this, we finally went home, 
where we found my mother in the large storeroom closet. 
She was getting out rock-candy from a tin box that always 
stood on the top shelf, and was giving it to the other chil- 
dren. All these details are impressed so clearly on my 
memory — they say the first thing a child remembers is 
invariably connected with something to eat — because my 
mother did not give Mary and me any of the rock-candy. 
I remember well the delightful box from which the candy 
came, the rich dark plum-cake that lived in it, and all the 
other deficacies. This is, as I say, the only thing I am 
sure I remember about my little sister, but I have also a 
very distinct impression — whether real or fancied, I do 
not know — of a fair little face and long, curling fight hair. 
If I ever reach heaven and see her, as I often pray that I 
may, shall I know her when we meet? 

I remember other things about that summer of 1840. 



I remember Commodore Salter, Aunt Margaret's husband, 
being there at Danskammer, and also Mr. David Mait- 
land, my godfather. Of course Commodore Salter stands 
out so plainly because he gave me my first ride on horse- 
back. He had a bay horse that was kept in our stable, 
and one day he put me on the back of this bay and led 
him out among the apple-trees in the orchard. This was 
a memorable ride and I shall never forget it. 

Mr. David Maitland was a frequent visitor at Dans- 
kammer, and I looked forward to his coming, as he always 
brought candy — packages of ''Stewart's Mixed Broken 
Candy," made by R. L. and A. Stew^art. Their place in 
New York was on Chambers Street, the north side, where 
it forms a sort of square. This candy was put up in square 
packages, blue and white, holding about a pound; there 
were sticks of pink cinnamon, wintergreen, red and white 
striped, and white vanilla in squarish pieces, also occa- 
sional strips of lemon that were very much prized; later it 
was called "Ridley's Broken Candy." The Stewarts were 
Scotchmen who made a large fortune and lived in hand- 
some houses on Fifth Avenue. 

When Aunt Margaret visited Danskammer, the first 
thing she always did was to go down into the nursery and 
see my old nurse, Catherine Small, for she had also been 
nurse for all the Armstrong family and they were devoted 
to her. She was the widow of a sailor who had been killed 
by falhng from a mast. Her room was in the basement, 
with one window toward the south that had one of those 
wide window-seats in which two people could sit comforta- 
bly; a like window opened into a long hall under the porch, 
which always kept its white shutters closed, and on them 
hung hfe-sized portraits in red crayon by Saint Mem in of 
my grandfather and grandmother Armstrong, of which I 



now have small steel-engravings. Both pictures and 
frames were valuable, but in moving from Danskammer 
they were left in a bureau-drawer and lost, hke a good 
many other nice old things. Our garret was full of such 
treasures and was a fme place to play on rainy days. At 
one end was a dark room over the porch, and at the other 
a raised platform where were kept large portfolios of en- 
gravings by Boydell and Bartolozzi. There were chests 
filled with old British uniforms, trappers' and American 
Indian dresses belonging to my father, made of leather 
with fringes on them, and quantities of old brocade dresses 
which we used for charades. My sister-in-law cut up 
some of the red coats to make iron-holders, and the bro- 
cades went for pincushions for a church fair, but in the 
end I secured some of the engravings. 

At one end of the nursery was a FrankHn stove, where 
a wood-fire always burned on chilly days, at the other a 
tall mahogany press with shelves above and doors below, 
in which were always goodies of some sort. The nursery 
was the meeting-place for all the children; we played our 
games there, and as it was near the storeroom my mother 
also made a convenience of it and cut up the loaf sugar 
there. In those days sugar came in the shape of a cone, 
about eighteen inches high and six inches across at the 
base; it was wrapped in several layers of paper, the outer 
being thick and of a dark-purple color. On Christmas 
Eve we hung up our stockings at the Frankhn, and I 
remember opening mine one time sitting in the big trundle- 
bed that stood beside nurse's, so big that several children 
could sleep in it. It was on the floor in front of the 
Frankhn that we did most of our work, made molasses 
candy, mended our skates, greased our boots, and around 
the large table we stoned the raisins for the Christmas 
plum pudding. 



When nurse got very old and bent and went about 
with a stick she could scarcely let mc out of her sight, and 
was always hobbling out to the "cold spring," nearly a 
quarter of a mile away, to see if I had fallen into it. One 
rainy day she was missed from the house, and after a long 
search she was found lying in the raspberry patch insen- 
sible. She had evidently gone to look for me. After this 
she was somewhat childish, though she hved for several 
years, until she was nearly ninety. She was a dear, sweet 
old soul. 

When the large table which I spoke of in the nursery 
was not in use for some housekeeping rite we used it for 
playing games. One game was sea-fighting. We had vast 
fleets of wooden ships made up from shingles fitted with 
masts, sails, and bowsprits. They were war-ships with 
historic names. Wasp, Frolic, and the like. Harry usually 
cut them out, perhaps a hundred to a fleet. They would 
sally out and meet the hostile fleet and ram them— it was 
our only means of warfare — the enemy would ram in 
return, and when any vessel was practically disabled, with 
mast and rigging gone, perhaps upset, it was towed into 
harbor as a prize. We really had splendid fun and got 
very much excited over the exploits of some favorite ship. 
Then we had jackstraws, cut out in various shapes, such 
as horses and castles, by Harry, who was very handy with 
his knife. They all had numbers on the sides, and when 
one got 500 he w^as winner. I remember a horse was the 
highest, 1 00. Now^ those winter evenings seem ages ago ! 
Truly "the thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." 

And always as our companion was little Fox, a yel- 
low, dear, small Scotch terrier, given to Gouv by Mr. 
David Maitland. Fox was Gouv's regular companion to 
his rabbit-traps. I was too young then to be allowed to 
go to the traps, but later I used to set traps and once 



caught eleven in one night. When the snow was deep 
Gouv used to have to carry Fox in his arms for miles; but 
he always went along. In making our traps we used an 
Indian tomahawk that had belonged to Brant, the famous 
chief of the Six Nations, that had been given by him to 
my grandfather when he went to see him on some mission 
or other. Of course after a while we lost it. We had 
many dogs; one, a splendid brindled half-mastiff and half- 
bulldog named Leo, used to have awful fights with 
Don, a fine yellow pointer, which we kept for Uncle 
Charles when he was off on a cruise. Don would seize 
the mastiff by his fore paws, and it was almost impossible 
to make him let go, so Leo often went about lame and 
bandaged up. When my father died he left to our care a 
beautiful yellow-and-white setter named Ulric, given to 
him by Mr. Maitland; he lived many years, but finally 
became so infirm that once when he was taking a drink 
at the "cold spring" near the barns and sheep-pen he fell 
in and was drowned. And then there was Jet, a beau- 
tiful black pointer that Mr. Maitland gave Harry, bred 
from dogs belonging to Joseph Bonaparte. So we had 
plenty of dogs. 

My uncle Henry, who was killed in India, was never 
more to me than a romantic name, but Uncle Charles 
figured conspicuously and defightfully in our boyish fives. 
A fieutenant in the United States navy, he spent most of 
his shore leave at Danskammer, and his visits were great 
events; he was so jolly and entertaining, so full of life and 
spirits. And then he was sure to bring us all manner of 
curiosities that he had picked up on his voyages — rare shells, 
strange arms, and such-fike barbaric treasure. One of his 
voyages was in the U. S. Sloop-of-War Saratoga to the 
coast of Africa — she was built at Portsmouth and this was 



her maiden trip — and he brought fascinating things from 
this cruise and thrilled us \vith fine tales of an African 
chief he had met, with a marvellous name which I have 
forgotten. From Egypt he once brought us some wheat 
that had been found in a mummy-case. It was planted, 
and in my mind's eye I can see the beautiful waving green 
patch that sprang from it growing at one side of the avenue. 
But, sad to say, my brother Gouv insists that it never 
came up. 

One of uncle's cruises under the command of Commo- 
dore Perry had an unfortunate termination. It seems 
that on a certain occasion Perry was obliged to be away, 
and left the ship under the command of a heutenant of a 
lower rank than my uncle. As this was not at all in 
accordance with etiquette, Uncle Charles considered it an 
insult and expostulated with the commodore, and finally 
sent him a challenge to fight a duel, through his friend and 
second, Captain Hunter. Commodore Perry declined to 
meet him, and my uncle was court-martialled for challeng- 
ing his superior officer; but he was practically acquitted, 
for he was given merely a nominal sentence, being sus- 
pended for a very short time. I befieve the affair caused 
quite a stir in navy circles. 

The story of "Alvarado" Hunter, as this friend of my 
uncle's was called, was pretty tragic. During the Mexican 
War he was sent with one small ship to blockade the town 
of Alvarado until the land forces came up, but he managed 
to take the place before the army got there; for this excess 
of zeal he was dismissed from the service, to the indigna- 
tion of his friends. 

My brother Harry was devoted to Uncle Charles, and 
used to stay on the North Carolina with him; it was then 
that Harry got the passion for the sea that held him all 



his life. Uncle gave him the dog Carlo, a beautiful 
cocker spaniel with long silken ears, brought up on the 
ship and taught any number of clever tricks by the sailors, 
such as cHmbing a ladder and fetching one's shppers. But 
one accomplishment he had acquired on land. He could 
catch a snake by the middle and shake the life out of it 
before it got the smallest chance to defend itself. 

I shall never forget Uncle Charles's last visit to Dans- 
kammer. It was winter and the snow was on the ground; 
I was out at the stable and he drove up to say good-by. 
I watched him as he disappeared through the big black 
gate. I never saw him again. It was a great grief to all 
of us boys when we heard of his death, just as he was 
finishing a cruise, "at midnight, aboard cruiser Ohio, off 
Rio, homeward-bound." He died of yellow fever and was 
buried at sea. I heard at the time that he was taken ill 
of the fever on shore and did not want to be taken back to 
the ship, fearing that the disease would be communicated 
to others. This was like him; he was an unselfish, gallant 
fellow. We boys loved him dearly. I have heard that at 
his funeral there was not a dry eye on the ship. 

For years after his death old sahs would turn up at 
Danskammer and tell us about him; they said that on 
board ship he was a strict disciplinarian, but when any 
sailor met him on shore he ahvays gave him all the money 
he had in his pockets. When these old sailors came to 
Danskammer we always gave them a glass of brandy and 
two dollars and sent them on their way rejoicing. They 
would have to go to Hampton to take the ferry across the 
river for the train at New Hamburg, and the path went 
through our barnyard. One of these old salts, after the 
usual drink and tip, started on his way; some time after- 
ward Gouv happened to go out to the barn, and there 



was the old fellow perched on top of the barnyard gate, 
watching round-eyed a pair of white oxen sleeping peace- 
fully in the sun. They were kind, tranquil beasts, but to 
the old seaman they were an unknown terror. Gouv asked 
him why he was waiting, and he said he was afraid "one of 
those fellows would run him down." 

My mother, who you will remember came from Caro- 
hna, was very hospitable and kept open house at Dans- 
kammer, most of her guests being our Southern relations. 
She always kept good horses, and in old times usually 
drove to Charleston for the winter, with four horses, tak- 
ing a considerable time for the trip, and as there were few 
hotels, she was entertained by her friends all along the 
way. It must have been an ideal way to travek 
I remember very well the two large travelling carriages 
that used to stand in our stable, arranged for four horses, 
with a high seat for the coachman with a big hammer-cloth 
below his seat, and platforms behind for footmen and 
luggage, and flights of folding steps that let down from 
inside the carriage. 

Our every-day carriage was the shape of a pumpkin- 
seed, also with a hammer-cloth and steps to let down, and 
was hung on large springs front and rear. When my 
mother went to hve in New York in 1849 ^^^ ^^t the house 
and farm to Mr. Warren DeLano, all the horses except 
Charley and some of the furniture w^ere sold at auction, 
what is called a **vandue" in our part of the country. A 
good many valuable things that were not then appreciated 
were sold at that time. We had a pair of small mules 
and I remember how funny Sam and Bill looked when, 
after the sale, they were driven off by their purchaser, 
harnessed to our great family carriage. Bill was a 
vicious animal, but Harry was venturesome and used to 



ride him. Mules do not have prominent withers like 
horses, so when Bill stood up perpendicularly on his 
forelegs, Harry and the saddle would slip over his head, 
and both come down in a heap, but he would put the sad- 
dle on and have another try. Harry even rode the cows 

My mother was a very humane woman, but she had 
all her horses' tails docked if they were long when she 
bought them. Previous to being docked, the muscles of 
the tail were cut by a veterinary surgeon, then the end was 
attached to cords that ran over pulleys fastened to the 
posts at each side of the rear of the stall, which kept the 
tail in an upright position, and this process was continued 
for several weeks, until the tail was always carried up. It 
was then docked. It was cruel, but every one did it; one 
never saw carriage-horses with long tails. Now it is for- 
bidden by the S. P. C. A. 

When I was little we went to church in Newburgh, at 
St. George's, where the Reverend Doctor Brown was rec- 
tor for more than fifty years. I believe when he first 
began his hfe there that there was great prejudice against 
him on account of his being an Episcopalian — it was shortly 
after our difficulties with England, and people had not 
yet got over the dislike for everything Enghsh, including 
the Enghsh Church. I remember the long, cold drives 
to church on winter mornings and the leathery smell of 
the closed carriage. When we drove into Newburgh for 
shopping we would stop the carriage in front of the shops 
and they would bring the things out to show us. The 
Bank of Newburgh and the Highland Bank were just 
where they are now, and nearly opposite was Farnham's 
grocery-store. All the grocers were then liquor dealers as 
well, and usually had bars in the rear of their stores, and 



it was not thought to be to their discredit. Mrs. Farnham 
was a very capable lady and I remember her coming to 
Danskammer to help my mother make calfs-foot jelly for 
a church fair. The jelly was made in a bag and hung up 
in the schoolroom to drip — a big round bag like a hot-water 
bottle dripping into a pan. 

The roads in winter when there was no snow were 
pretty bad, and everybody was glad when the ice on the 
river froze thick enough for sleighing. As soon as it was 
strong some venturesome person would lay out a track 
and mark it with Httle cedar-trees, and then we had a 
fine level road, sometimes for months. Of course there 
were no big steamboats and ferries to break up the ice as 
they do now. One of my earliest recollections is a drive 
across the river with my mother and old John Bush, our 
colored coachman for forty years, and a visit to the Ver- 
plancks at Fishkill. I was sent to play with the children 
— I was perhaps five years old — and presently when a tre- 
mendous noise emanated from the nursery they all rushed 
up and found that I had quarrelled with one of the boys 
and had felled him with a chair. I don't recall what hap- 
pened afterward; I only remember that I was in disgrace. 
The Society of the Cincinnati was founded in the old Ver- 
planck homestead and the place is one of the original 

Until 1849 ^v^ always lived summer and winter at 
Danskammer. For several years we had tutors, three in 
all, young divinity students. The Reverend Henry Ed- 
wards I remember as a handsome young man who was 
fond of chemistry and used to make interesting experi- 
ments, resulting sometimes in explosions which we thought 
very exciting. Each of our desks in the schoolroom had 
under it a small open box, hke a carpenter's mitre-box, in 



which we put our feet, in order to make our toes turn out ! 
I don't know whose idea it was or whether or no it had the 
desired effect. Our schoolroom, the north basement room, 
had wide window-seats level with the lawn outside, fine 
places to sit when we wanted to paint in water-colors or 
make boats. These windows were guarded by iron bars, 
soldered with lead into the granite sills and supposed to 
be immovable. Mr. Edwards's punishment for misde- 
meanors — and with five boys there were a good many such 
■ — was "keeping in." So when a punishment was due he 
would lock the door in the afternoon and go away, leaving 
us, as he supposed, safely imprisoned. But Harry was an 
ingenious boy and contrived to drill the solder out from 
around two of the bars, so that we could all creep out and 
get safely back by the time Mr. Edwards returned. And 
I do not think that he ever discovered how we spent our 
afternoons. At that time we had an old farmer named 
Jonathan Pierce; when the "Pickwick Papers" came out 
Mr. Edwards would have old Jonathan into the school- 
room and read it aloud to him, and he would enjoy it 
enormously and be convulsed with laughter. 

The Reverend Samuel Hawkesley, afterward rector at 
Marlborough, was the best of all our tutors. We were 
awfully fond of him; he was jolly and amused us very 
much, and was a good man besides. When he was at 
Marlborough he established missions at Latintown and 
Ellenville and many other places. As he had no horse, he 
used to walk to all these missions. It is about forty miles 
from Marlborough to Ellenville ! 

In 1847 Jack and I went to Mr. Alzimora's school in 
Newburgh, and my mother left us there for the two winters 
which she spent in New York and Charleston. It was 
what is called a "select school," but the boys might have 



been "selected" for their badness — they were the only 
really bad boys I ever met at school. Our principal 
amusements were skating and coasting in winter — New- 
burgh has always been famous for its skaters — and swim- 
ming in summer from a fine beach now swept away by the 
railroad. I remember a boy named Seabury Lawrence 
swimming across there. One calm summer evening some 
years later I swam from our dock to the white house just 
below the Suydams' place at New Hamburg, about two 
miles. I was not at all tired. 

One day toward spring, when we were at school, while 
the river was still frozen, Jack and I got leave to walk up 
to Danskammer. My mother had left a cook in our house 
and John Bush was there and a man named Matt Maston, 
a farm-hand on the place. After dinner we were to drive 
back, but thought it would be dull to return in a wagon, 
and there was no sleighing, so we begged John Bush to 
take us back in the sleigh on the ice. He did not think it 
very safe, but we got Alatt Maston to walk ahead of us 
with a long pole with which to sound the ice. John Bush 
drove Bess and Charley; they had broken through the 
ice the winter before and were still a little nervous on 
the river, but we did not mind. We sent Maston ahead 
with his pole, and after he had gone about three miles he 
reported that it was quite safe, and that he need go no 
farther with us, so he went home. It was a warm day and 
the ice was rather soft, but we went merrily on, suspecting 
nothing, when suddenly the ice broke ! The horses began 
to plunge — they wTrc a pair of fine, spirited animals — 
and the sleigh sank down, but the horses managed to pull 
it out onto firm ice. We got out and walked cautiously 
ahead and found that the ice would scarcely bear us, that 
it was all honeycombed and one could almost stick one's 



finger through it, so we returned and told John Bush that 
he would have to drive back the way we had come over 
the crack, and go ashore. John didn't like the prospect, 
neither did the horses, who had by this time grown very 
much excited. We did not get into the sleigh again, but 
walked along, watching John. He got in, laid the whip 
on the horses, and they went at a gallop bounding over 
the crack. They got safely over, but the sleigh sank 
down and we thought that it was gone, but the horses 
pulled it out. A little farther on we managed to get 
ashore; but at that time there was no road there, and we 
had to drive about three miles over bare ground, old stone 
walls, and rocks. At last we reached home, had the horses 
put in a wagon, and drove back to Newburgh. By the 
time we reached there all the ice in the river, that we had 
been on a few hours before, was broken up and floating 

Horses have always been one of the great interests of 
my life. After the memorable occasion when Commodore 
Salter put me on his bay horse, I rode whenever I had the 
chance. I have a faint memory of a ride up Soap Hill on 
one of the carriage-horses, a bay — and this miscellaneous 
riding went on for some years, until finally, when I was 
about fourteen, I found myself practically the owner of a 
good horse, as no one used him except myself. He really 
was a driving-horse that my brother Jack bought from a 
neighbor, Sam Halsey, a nice active little bay horse named 
Bill, fifteen hands high. The reason I got him was 
that Jack's first drive with him turned out badly. Jack 
started out one evening with his new horse, wagon, and 
whip, and returned home on foot with nothing but his 
whip, leaving the rest of his equipage scattered over the 



road. He had been run into. Bill had run home into 
the stable. Jack said he would never drive him again, so 
I rode him steadily for several years. He was a perfect 
little saddle-horse. I once rode him from Danskammer 
to Goshen and back — in all fifty-four miles — and I do not 
remember that either Billy or I was at all tired. The 
use of this horse practically made a good rider of me. 
Another horse I rode was a black pony that Gouv and I 
bought together, but he was never much good, and finally 
fell into the spring and got drowned. 

Newbold Morris, a great friend of mine — he gave me 
the ring I always wear — was in the habit of riding up to 
Danskammer on horseback. On one occasion he stopped 
there for a day or two and I went on with him to Hyde 
Park, where we stayed with his uncle, Mr. Tom Newbold. 
I rode a little bay horse called Ruby, and Newbold a 
gray mare. We met there a Miss Eleanor Jones, an heiress 
and a very nice girl. In a few days I came home, leaving 
Newbold at Hyde Park, and shortly after he turned up 
again at our house, riding another horse — he was a great 
horse-jockey and had traded his mare for a cream-colored 
nag — with the news that he was engaged to Miss Jones ! 
Newbold was awfully good-looking. 

Time passed on, I graduated at college and went abroad, 
and had some nice rides in Madeira, and about a year after 
my return, having spent a winter studying law in New 
York, of which more anon, I returned to Danskammer, 
deciding to study law in Newburgh in the office of Has- 
brouck and Taylor, and ride back and forth on horseback. 
It is seven miles from the Danskammer house to New- 
burgh, fourteen miles to go and return, but the first six 
months I only missed one day, when the snow was so deep 



in our avenue that my mare stuck and could not get 
through. Indeed, during those two years of 1861 and 1862 
I scarcely missed a day. Rain or shine, snow or whatever 
the weather might be, I went and came. Very early every 
morning John Bush w^ould come into my room to light the 
fire, usually remarking that it was "as cold as Egypt." 
Gouv and I breakfasted by the bright coal-fire in the din- 
ing-room and I would be in Newburgh bj' nine o'clock. 
I read law, copied papers and such things, and lunched at 
the baker's, or went to the grocer's for some bread and 
cheese; sometimes Mr. Hasbrouck would ask me to his 
pleasant house for lunch or dinner. 

My mount was a chestnut known as "Holden's Mare" 
— she never had any other name — but she was not really 
my horse any more than Bill had been. In fact, she 
was another inheritance from Jack. She belonged to 
Holden, who kept the steamboat dock at Marlborough, 
and the first time I saw her was up at Jew's Creek near 
the dock, where Gouv and I were rail-shooting. We spoke 
of her to Jack with so much admiration that he finally 
bought her, but when he got her he didn't like her and 
lent her to me; as no one ever used her except myself, she 
was like my own horse. She had a beautiful fast trot; I 
once rode her the six miles from Newburgh to the hickory- 
tree at the head of our road in eighteen minutes. I only 
had two falls from her. One frosty morning John Bush 
forgot to draw the girths tight and the saddle turned as 
I put my foot in the stirrup, and the mare went careering 
off to the stable, leaving me flat on my back on the lawn. 
The other time was due to a habit she had of passing 
vehicles on a dead run; as I rode up behind Dan Barnes 
she broke into a gallop, caught her left leg on his wheel, 



and we all went headlong. She was hard to mount, too, 
and always started on a gallop as soon as I got my foot 
into the stirrup, but barring these Httle peculiarities 
"Holden's Mare" was very fine. 




"Broadway, the first that takes the eye, 
The noblest street I here espy. 
The new-swept side-walks, neat and clean, 
With poplars shaded, sweet and green; 
The num'rous steeples tow'ring high. 
Seen best from ships when passing by 
And when descending Hudson bold; 
The City Hotel we behold, 
Commercial next, and old Tontine." 

— Thomas Eaton. 

When I was a little boy about six or seven I went with 
my mother to stay at Mrs. Plummer's boarding-house, No. 
65 Broadway, near Rector Street. Mrs. Plummer was a 
fine old lady, quite a friend of my mother, and her house 
was perhaps the best of its kind in New York. It was 
more hke a family hotel than a boarding-house, very well 
kept, the food delicious, and the very nicest people stayed 
there. I remember the long, handsome table, shining with 
bright linen and silver, with Mrs. Plummer's portly figure 
at the head and Miss Ehza Plummer at the foot. Miss 
Eliza afterward married Mr. Pritchard, a fine-looking 
man and very much of a gentleman; he was a boarder at 
that time. Another boarder was a Mr. Albert Speyer, a 
dashing, interesting man, who told me captivating stories 
of the wild West. He was a great traveller, a friend of 
Fremont, the explorer of the West, who was afterward 
candidate for President against Buchanan. 

I remember Mr. Speyer giving me a half a dollar that 



I kept as a pocket-piece for a long while, as half-dollars 
were not plenty with me, but one day I wanted very much 
to go to the American Institute Fair, held in the Castle 
Garden at the Battery, which at that time stood out in 
the water, as the ground had not then been filled in around 
it as it is now. This fair was an annual event in New York 
and every one went to it. Well, I wanted to go there with 
some other boys and had no money for a ticket except 
that half-dollar, so although it was a sore trial to part with 
it, I used it for my ticket. I have no remembrance of 
what we saw or did there; the only thing I remember is 
my pang at parting with my half-dollar. The Castle Gar- 
den, originally a fort, was later fitted up as a place for all 
sorts of entertainments. Jenny Lind sang there, and when 
La Fayette made his triumphal return to America it was 
here they gave him a reception. 

There was an old gentleman at Mrs. Plummer's, Mr. 
Phoenix, whose face wore the "livery of good living," and 
who was very kind to me. He would often take me by 
the hand and we would go together to his store, a whole- 
sale grocery-store in some near-by street, which I found a 
delightful place. I liked the nice smells of the coffee and 
sugar, and the figs and nuts with which he used to regale 
me. A great pet of mine was a large gray cat of his that 
would lie curled up on top of the bags. Mr. Phoenix was 
a member of the well-known New York family of that 
name, and, like many gentlemen of those days, combined 
banking with importing wine, coffee, and other groceries. 

Broadw^ay at that time from the City Hall Park down 
to the Battery was handsomely built up with hotels and 
dwelling-houses. Old Trinity Church was being built then. 
Opposite Mrs. Plummer's was the Globe Hotel; farther up 
on the east side on the corner of Cedar Street was the City 



Hotel, where my mother sometimes stayed, one of the best 
hotels in New York. Below on the west side of Broadway 
was the large house with two lions in front of it, one on 
each side of the steps, which was afterward occupied by 
the British consul. These hons remained there until a 
year or so ago. On the east side, facing the Bowling 
Green, the block now occupied by the Custom House, 
were handsome large brick and stone houses, occupied by 
leading citizens — among them were the Primes and Whit- 
neys — while around the corner were other fine houses fac- 
ing the Battery. The Mortons lived in one of these. 
The Battery at that time was a pretty park, surrounded 
by a wrought-iron railing, with an iron gate at the corner 
of the Battery and Broadway, where an old apple-woman 
was stationed with a tempting array of candy, apples, and 
oranges. The Bowhng Green was also surrounded, as it 
is now, by an iron railing. The tops of the rails formerly 
had crowns on them, which were all broken off during the 
Revolution, when the populace tore down the leaden statue 
of George HI that stood there. (I understand that within 
the last few months this railing, an interesting relic of the 
Revolution, has been taken down, and no one knows what 
has become of it. Another historical memento that has 
lately been carelessly injured is the Worth Monument on 
Madison Square, our only memorial of the Mexican War; 
one of the four trophies — cannon-balls, muskets, etc. — 
which formerly stood on the granite posts at the corners 
of the railing was lost when the Subway was built. The 
remaining three were replaced for a short time, but then 
they too disappeared and the posts have stood unfinished 
ever since; the raihng, also, which is rather pleasing in 
design, is in bad shape.) 

I was allowed to go down and play in the Battery and 



often patronized the old apple-woman at the corner. 
There was a fountain in the centre of the Bowling Green 
in the form of a pile of rocks about twenty feet in height. 
The water did not spurt up into the air but was so arranged 
that it would come out at the top and fall down in little 
cascades over the projecting stones into a large basin at 
the bottom. In this basin could be seen two flamingoes. 
I remember they would stand on one leg, seemingly asleep. 
There were also two pretty little deer. I don't think that 
I had ever seen a deer before; I certainly had never seen 
flamingoes. The deer were small, tame, and very sweet; 
one day I remember that I bought some of those little 
Sicilian oranges from the old apple-woman at the corner 
and fed them to the deer, who put their noses eagerly 
through the railing, but there was a certain difficulty in 
regaling the deer, which added to the interest, for although 
they could reach out and take the oranges in their mouths, 
the fruit was so hard and round that they generally dropped 
them and they would roll down the slanting pavement 
into the gutter; but I would laboriously pick them up and 
offer them again and again, until they managed to masti- 
cate them. 

In my mind's eye I can see the Battery and the Bowl- 
ing Green exactly as they were then. The old apple- 
woman's stall at the gate, that flamingo poised on his one 
leg in the basin of the fountain, the two little deer nosing 
after the oranges, and myself laboriously rescuing them 
from the gutter and offering them so persistently. How 
distinctly one sometimes recalls a trifling memory like 
this when other events of real moment are forgotten ! 

Not long after this, when I was still a very small boy, 
I went to pay a visit to my Aunt Margaret Salter, who 
lived in West Fourteenth Street, near Sixth Avenue. Aunt 



Margaret was the wife of Commodore William Dayton 
Salter, of the United States navy. She was a dear soul; 
I have never known any one more kind and generous. 
She was highly educated, fond of reading and, hke all my 
uncles and aunts, an excellent talker. Aunt Margaret 
told me that when she was with my father. Aunt Rose, 
and Uncle Charles, she heard the best and most amusing 
conversation of her life. As she spoke beautiful French, 
she made herself very agreeable to the foreign visitors 
whom she entertained at the Brooklyn Navy Yard when 
her husband was commandant. While he was at sea she 
lived either in New York or Elizabeth. General Win- 
field Scott lived in Elizabeth and was a great friend of my 
aunt's. I believe they were the last couple in America 
who could dance the minuet. The general was an enor- 
mous man, about six feet four, and large in proportion, 
always very kind, pohte, and stately. I used often to 
meet him going up the river on the Mary Powell and have 
a little chat with him. 

The commodore was a typical sea-captain of the old 
school; an excellent sailor, a most capable man, and very 
decided, not to say pig-headed, in all his ideas. He was 
short, with a ruddy, clean-shaven face. He once told me 
that he taught all his midshipmen to shave with both 
hands, so that in case they were wounded they could still 
shave ! He went to sea as midshipman at the age of ten. 
There were no naval schools in those days; they got their 
education at sea, and I fancy they did not teach them 
much apart from seamanship, for the commodore often 
complained that he was inferior to his wife in accomphsh- 
ments. He was only twelve when he got into his first sea- 
fight — the famous battle between the Constitution and the 
Guerriere in the War of 1812 — and was also in the cele- 



brated stern chase of the Constitution, the "most exciting 
in naval annals," when she escaped from the British fleet 
in the fog. Mr. Dana painted an excellent picture of the 
chase, getting all the facts for his work from the commo- 
dore, and gave him a photograph of it, framed in a bit of 
wood from the Constitution, which my son Noel has at 
Danskammer. The last foreign service of the Constitution 
was the transport of American products to the Paris Expo- 
sition of 1878, which makes a link between me and the 
famous old ship. 

When the commodore was young, duelling was still very 
popular; he told me that there were frequent duels in the 
cockpit among the midshipmen, and described to me a 
duel that he had fought with another officer at Naples. 
I spoke of this duel once to Loyall Farragut, who told me 
that it was historic in the navy and that he had seen it 
mentioned in some book. It seems that the Queen of 
Naples visited the ship, and after she had left, my uncle 
remarked that she was a handsome and agreeable lady; a 
fellow officer denied this vigorously, asserting that she was 
ugly and ill-favorcd. This was cause enough for a duel, 
so one was fought and young Salter shot his opponent in 
the hip. He said to me: "I met him the other day in an 

omnibus; we are now the best of friends, and by G he 

limps yet!" This seemed to give him great satisfaction 
after fifty or sixty years. 

In 1 84 1 Captain Salter was put in command of the 
first steamship in the nav}-, the Mississippi. Steam was 
considered a very hazardous experiment, and my uncle 
said that "it was only when he looked aloft at the sails 
and yards that he felt at home." In a letter to my aunt 
he says: "She is a large ship, 120 feet long and 46 wide. I 
have two ten-inch guns now mounted and four eight-inch; 



I suppose the others will be forthcoming soon. I shall 
have a heavy battery. The ship will be all legs and arms, 
she really looms hke a seventy-four. The engine is six 
hundred horse power, the stack or furnace pipe as big in 
proportion as our little church steeple. We have much 
running ice, lots of snow and visitors, the latter interfere 
much with our work; a boat-load, principally petticoats, 
is coming alongside now." 

The commodore had met many distinguished people, 
among them Napoleon, who once came aboard his ship in 
the Mediterranean, and Byron also visited the Constitu- 
tion. I used to like to hear him talk about them, and 
about his adventures in South American waters when he 
was in command of the Brazil squadron. I stayed with 
Aunt Margaret very often at the Brooklyn Navy Yard 
when the commodore was commandant there. They had 
a fine garden and a large fig-tree that lived for many years, 
and even bore figs, by being covered with straw in winter. 

But we have got very far away from that first visit of 
mine to Aunt Margaret in New York. Commodore Salter 
was very kind and took me to the theatre at Niblo's Garden. 
The play was "Beauty and the Beast." It was my first 
play. I don't remember much about it except the great 
impression the terrific beast made on me, and where he 
changes into the prince and drops his disguise it was most 
thrilling. The dead beast lay on the stage in a round 
heap. I remember him distinctly, looking exactly hke the 
old buff'alo-robes that we had in the stable at home for 
sleighing. Another treat was a feast on sponge-cake 
bought for me by the commodore during a walk around 
the block, down Fifth Avenue, through Sixth Avenue and 
so home, which I recall with httle pleasure, for that eve- 
ning I was taken very ill and had the doctor, and, indeed, 



was not expected to live. While I was lying ill, supposed 
to be asleep, I heard my Aunt Margaret trying to console 
my mother by saying the usual things — that even if I died 
it would be **all for the best" — when to their surprise I 
suddenly sat up in bed and remarked: **If I am going to 
die now what was the use of my ever having been born?" 
Later Aunt Margaret moved to a house which is still 
standing, next to the garden of the large Van Beuren house 
in West Fourteenth Street; it has a bay window overlook- 
ing their garden, and is now almost the only dwelling, 
except the Van Beuren house, on the block. At that time 
Fifth Avenue from Sixteenth Street to Washington Square 
was the most fashionable part of New York — there were 
practically no shops in that neighborhood, from 1849 to 
1853, except Cook's grocery -store, on the corner of Thir- 
teenth Street and Fifth Avenue, where the Heckschers' 
house was built later — but there were still primitive spots. 
On the site of the Van Beuren house stood a very pretty 
little wooden colonial house, painted white, two stories, 
with a green door and brass knocker, approached by two 
flights of curving wooden steps. In front of it was a large 
balm of Gilead tree and a pump then in use, and I have 
often seen large white sows asleep in the gutter on the 
corner of Fourteenth Street and Fifth Avenue. Indeed, 
pigs roamed all the streets of the city at that time. The 
site of the Fifth Avenue Hotel was then occupied by a 
road-house, a cottage, and outbuildings called Corporal 
Thompson's, and back of it was a green paddock and open 
field running down to Sixth Avenue. I have seen a cow 
looking over a pair of bars on the corner of Fifth Avenue 
and Twenty-third Street. Moses H. Grinnell lived on the 
corner of Fourteenth Street and Fifth Avenue, and the 
Haights and the Parkers built handsome houses on the 



corners of West Fifteenth Street and the Avenue. The 
Grfnnell house was later occupied by Delmonico. The 
August Belmonts lived between Thirteenth and Fourteenth 
Streets, the Heckschers nearly opposite, then came Mr. 
Lenox, and on the opposite corner of Twelfth Street the 

Directly opposite Niblo's Garden was Pat Hearn's 
notorious gambhng-house, a very celebrated and fashion- 
able resort for the sporting fraternity. It was a very 
quiet-looking brownstone house, always tightly closed, 
with the blinds drawn down. Right around the corner, in 
Houston Street, J. C. Bancroft Davis and William Robin- 
son lived a httle later than this, and when Thackeray 
visited America he stayed with them there. The Metro- 
pohtan Hotel was on Broadway in front of Niblo's Garden, 
and was one of the most famous hotels in New York. 
St. Thomas's Church was on the corner of Houston Street 
and Broadway. Mrs. Eades's boarding-house was next to 
the church, and next to that were the rooms where the 
American Art Union used to exhibit, and where later the 
Academy of Design exhibitions were held before they built 
their new building at the corner of Twenty-third Street 
and Fourth Avenue. Maillard's was next door to Mrs. 
Eades's, and Laura Keene's theatre was opposite. Later 
than the time of which I am writing, I saw Wilham Burton, 
the most famous comedian of his day, in his theatre in 
Chambers Street, opposite the City Hall Park. The same 
building was occupied for many years by the United States 
District Court, where I was admitted to practice about 
1866, and where I practised law. Judge Betts was then 
on the bench, his son was clerk of the court, and George 
Morton, Mrs. Shippen's father, was United States com- 
missioner. They all had offices in this building. 



In 1848 I first knew of Brooks's clothing-store, on the 
corner of Catherine and Cherry Streets. I was then twelve 
years old and was very proud to hear that I was to go to 
Brooks's for a new suit. I remember it well; the trousers 
were light gray with a stripe on the side of dark gray, the 
jacket a bkie roundabout with brass navy buttons. I 
think that Brooks was the pioneer of ready-made clothes. 
I don't think that any one before that ever bought any 
good ready-made things; clothes wTre all made to order 
by regular private tailors. Previous to this visit to Brooks's 
my clothes were made at Danskammer by my mother's 
dressmaker, Mrs. de Groot from Marlborough, who came 
in by the day. I remember her making mc a pair of trou- 
sers of gray cloth, the color of the West Point cadets. I 
liked the cloth well enough, but they were strapped down 
with leather straps that I abhorred. The first time I wore 
them I went to church at Marlborough, and as soon as I 
came home I took my straps out on the lawn where the 
dogs had dug a hole and buried them. They were never 
found and troubled me no more. At the time I got my 
Brooks suit I also had a pair of patent-leather low shoes 
made by Sales, a fashionable bootmaker in Houston Street 
near Broadway. These shoes were interesting to me, as 
before that my shoes had been made by Atwood in New- 
burgh, and were not like Sales's, which were very smart 
and went well with my new suit. But I was inordinately 
proud of a pair of boots with red tops that Atwood made 
for me; I used to stuff my trousers inside the tops and 
exhibit them on all occasions. 

I seem to remember more about the clothes of 1848 
than I do about its politics, but my friend Mr. Bosworth, 
of Springfield, has a better memory, and recited to mc a 
campaign song of that date which he used to sing as a boy. 



I fancy ft has never been published. Cass was Zachary 
Taylor's opponent in the presidential contest and "Van" 
was, of course, President Van Buren. The '* Barn-burners" 
were so radical that they were said to be willing to *'burn 
their barns to destroy the rats." The *' Locos" took their 
name from an incident at Tammany Hall, when all the 
lights being extinguished, the meeting went on with the 
aid of "loco-foco" matches provided in anticipation of the 

"Uncle Sam's White House is a very fine station 
For any man to have and attend to the nation. 
And many men came to the door and knocked, 
And Uncle Sam sung while the door was locked, 

'Who's that knocking at the door? 

Is that you, Zac?' *No, 'tis Cass!' 

'Well you ain't Santa Anna and you've got no pass. 

So there's no use your knocking at the door 

Any more! 

There's no use your knocking at the door!' 

Next the Barn-burners came, with the Locos in their ranks. 
And Uncle Sam laughed at their foolish pranks, 
For they brought Matty Van, who had been there before, 
And Uncle Sam sung, as they knocked at the door, — 

' Is that you, Zac ? ' ' No, 'tis Van ! ' 

'Well, you can't come in, you're a used-up man! 

And there's no use your knocking at the door 

Any more ! 

There's no use your knocking at the door!' 

Next the People came, with the brave old chief. 
Whose brow was decked with a warrior's wreath. 
He walked right up, as he did to the foe. 
And knocked like a soldier in Mexico. 

And Uncle Sam said, 'Is that you, Zac? 

Well, walk right in, for you've never turned back ! 

And there's no use your knocking at the door 

Any more ! 

There's no use your knocking at the door!"* 



It was some statesman of about this time, though I 
cannot remember his name, who was responsible for a bit 
of repartee familiar in my youth. He said to an opponent 
in the House — he must have been a refined old party: 
"Sir, you are not fit to carry guts to a bear." This odd 
statement not being relished, he was told that he must 
apologize; whereupon he amended it by saying: "Sir, I 
apologize, you are fit to carry guts to a bear." 

My mother and I used sometimes to visit my godfather, 
Mr. Maitland, at his house, 41 Barclay Street. He was 
the head of the firm of Maitland, Kennedy and Company, 
of No. 14 Stone Street, later Maitland, Phelps, and now 
Maitland, Coppel and Company. They have been bank- 
ers for over a hundred years and my family have had an 
account there since 1830. 

At the time I visited in Barclay Street the whole neigh- 
borhood near the City Hall park was a residential section. 
Columbia College was near by, and the Astor House was 
the best hotel in the city. St. Paul's Church looked much 
as it does now. The old City Hall was the only building 
in the park, with Barnum's Museum nearly opposite. 
Barnum's Museum was then of white marble, with oval 
pictures of wild animals all over its front, and there was 
a balcony about half-way up the front where musicians 
played. This building was burned later. There were all 
sorts of fake curiosities there — the "Woolly Horse," the 
"What is-it?" advertised thus: "Oh what is it? Is it 
man or monkey? It was discovered in the wilds of Africa 
and may be seen at all hours." It was simply an idiot 
boy. They also had "real mermaids" and the Siamese 
twins. The latter were genuine objects of curiosity. Mr. 
William R. Travers once went to see them and Barnum 
himself showed him around and introduced him to the 



twins. Mr. Travers put up his eyeglass and, after examin- 
ing them carefully, said in his stuttering voice: "B-B-B- 
Brothers, I presume?" Mr. Travers was a very amusing 
and witty man, and stuttered just enough to make his 
remarks more entertaining. His funny sayings were mani- 
fold, and his manner and action most amusing. He owned 
some of the finest race-horses of the day, in partnership 
with Leonard Jerome. Years after the time I am now 
writing about, I remember coming back from a race-meeting 
of the Narragansett course with him. We embarked on 
a boat from Providence to Newport. Mr. Travers was 
standing on the dock, high above the deck of the boat, as 
the tide there falls several feet, and there was a man on 
the boat with a basket of beer in those round-bottomed 
bottles that will not stand up. Mr. Travers asked the 
man to throw him some and Mr. Travers caught them one 
by one, putting the first under his left arm, the next under 
his right, two between his legs, and finally one in each 
hand, so he had six without setting one down — he looked 
very funny. Once a man slapped him violently on the 
back, mistaking him for some one else, and then exclaimed : 
"I beg your pardon; I thought you were my friend Jones." 
Mr. Travers said: "D-D-D-Does your friend Jones I-I-I-Iike 
that sort of thing?" He told of once coming home after 
a dinner, a little the worse for wear, late at night, and try- 
ing to creep into bed very quietly, not to disturb his wife, 
but she was awake, and just as he was comfortably set- 
tled she remarked — according to him: " W-W-W-William, 
d-d-d-do you usually go to bed w-w-w-with your hat on?" 
But I am getting too far ahead of my period — I must not 
forget that I am still a little boy in New York. 

About this time I went with my mother to pay a visit 
to the Luquers, who Hved in a pretty country place in the 



outskirts of Brooklyn; Mrs. Luquer was a sister of Mrs. 
Stewart Maitland. I remember that we went to ehurch 
and that I had a new pair of suspenders of which I was 
very proud and which I insisted on displaying by keeping 
my jacket wide open. The cap which I wore to church 
on these grand occasions was a Scotch bonnet, a present 
from my godfather, Mr. Maitland, shaped like a large 
tam-o'-shanter but made of velvet of the royal Stuart 
tartan. Though it was considered an exceedingly hand- 
some thing, I never liked it very much. There were two 
Luquer boys, Nicholas and Lea. (Lea was afterward a 
member of the Century Club and rector of the church at 
Bedford, New York.) They had a donkey which I rode, but 
he had a tiresome habit of standing on his fore legs and I 
would slip over his head. 

My mother had great charm and grace of manner, al- 
though, as I remember her, she was not handsome; she 
spoke French and Italian, and painted extremely well, as 
may be seen in a vohime of bound water-color drawings 
done from nature, of flowers and fruits gathered for her 
by my father. The names are in the handwriting of Mr. 
Downing, the celebrated landscape-architect. These are 
not the conventional water-colors of the time, but realistic 
work, sensitively true to life. 

In 1849 rny mother rented the Danskammer house to 
Mr. Warren Delano and we went to live in New York, at 
12 West Fourteenth Street. In those days there were few 
opportunities for learning painting, but my mother always 
encouraged my taste for art, and as soon as we went to 
New York she put me to work with Mr. Coe, who was 
about the best teacher then to be found. I worked in his 
studio for three years with the greatest interest. I see now 
that he was not a good artist, but he started me so that I 



became fond of painting and worked hard. My mother 
always provided me with the best colors and drawing 
materials, and when I began copying she would have my 
feeble efforts framed, much to my dehght; although they 
were poor daubs, I was proud to see them hanging up 
and was encouraged to persevere. 

Mr. Coe's studio was on the same floor in the New 
York University where I went to day-school. I don't 
think that I was a very good scholar; I was bright enough, 
but did not like study, so I used to play hooky and go 
into Mr. Coe's studio and paint. Mr. Parker, the prin- 
cipal, came in one day in school hours when I should have 
been working in his schoolroom, and was surprised to 
find me there painting. He Hked me, however; for one 
thing, I wrote a good hand, so every week I was told to 
write out a book for him, with all the boys' names, with 
six divisions after each name, standing for the six working 
days of the week, which Mr. Parker would keep on his 
desk in front of him, and if in looking around the school- 
room he spied any boy idling or misbehaving, his name was 
given a bad mark in the book. By the irony of fate my 
name would be called out and registered very often in the 
neat fist that I had written out so laboriously. Mr. Parker 
was an attractive man and I am sure he was a good school- 
master. I gave him a good deal of trouble but we were 
fond of each other. Another teacher, Mr. BuH, was good 
at mathematics but poor in Enghsh, I remember well, 
because I was once awfully fresh to him when he used the 
expression "get red of a fraction." 

The University Grammar School was on the ground 
floor of the old University Building, a fine casteflated 
Gothic edifice, built of white marble, on the east side of 
Washington Square. The College Department was up- 



stairs. There were one hundred boys in the First Depart- 
ment where I was and a Primary Department of nearly as 
many boys adjoining it, under the charge of Mr. Hobby, 
known as ** Hobby's"; our department was known as 
"Parker's." We had a fme playground in Washington 
Square, then called the Washington Parade Ground be- 
cause the annual parade of the mihtia was held there, and 
I well remember the stout German militia officers dashing 
about on their steeds. Mr. Hamilton Fish told mc Wash- 
ington Parade Ground was formerly used as a place for 
public executions, and that he once saw a colored woman 
executed there on the site of what is now the Washington 
Arch. Mr. Janvier, the author of many good stories about 
the Washington Square neighborhood, once in talking to 
me about it mentioned that Minetta Creek formerly ran 
through the square, which made it damp and misty, and 
that it was also the Potters' Field, where they buried pau- 
pers and criminals. He added that even now, on a foggy 
evening, "the ghosts of the potters could be seen wander- 
ing about there." In my day, notwithstanding its grue- 
some origin, it was a fme place for games and foot-races, 
but most of all for playing marbles, which was our favorite 
game. I had an intimate school friend named Jaudon, 
who lived at No. i Fifth Avenue, and I used to meet him 
almost every afternoon to play marbles in Washington 
Square. It was really a gambling game in a small way, 
because the winner always took and kept his opponent's 
marbles; these were the ordinary marbles, which were 
pooled in the centre of a circle and shot at with "agates," 
all the marbles knocked out of the ring belonging to the 
shooter. These agates were ordinarily painted marbles, 
worth one or two cents each, known as "chancy agates'* 
or "chancy alleys," but there were real "agates" to be 



had, carved out of agate stone, that cost as much as twenty- 
live cents or more. So when real "agates" were in the 
ring in place of common marbles, the game became an 
expensive one. The little Jaudon boy was very nice and 
I was fond of him, but he was a better player than I and 
won almost all my "agates." He was familiarly known 
among boys as Billy, but that was not his real Christian 
name, and at this distant day I do not recall it. He died 
when very young. 

A quaint old Irish candy-man named Jimmy was a 
frequenter of Washington Parade Ground. He carried a 
tray, holding it in both hands, supported by a leather strap 
around the back of his neck. We had recess at one o'clock 
and Jimmy would always be on hand at that time and had 
excellent custom. His tray contained squares of molasses 
candy, white and pink cocoanut-cakes, and "all-day 
suckers" — though I am not sure we called them by that 
appropriate name — round, of lemon candy with white 
veins running through them, and very durable. All of 
these were one cent each. 

I was a rather quarrelsome boy and had several 
encounters, although I do not think that I ever fought a 
boy smaller than myself. There was a boy at school named 
Gabriel Chevallier; his father was French and, I think, an 
instrument -maker. One day when Chevallier was leaning 
his chair back on its hind legs, I put my foot under it and 
sent him backward. He said nothing, but a few days 
later he did the same to me, but I jumped up and imme- 
diately challenged him to fight, so we selected our seconds, 
and in recess met in a square space in the hall surrounding 
the pump, and had a regular set-to of several rounds, but 
he was too much for me and gave me a black eye which 
left a httle mark on the upper lid that remained there for 



years. He was declared the victor, but \vc were always 
afterward good friends. It must have been twenty-five 
years later that I was looking into Goupil's window on 
Fifth Avenue and Twenty-second Street when Chcvallier 
came up and spoke to me, and we talked alxjut sch(xjl-days 
and I asked if he remembered giving me a black eye, but 
from politeness, I suppose, he said that he did not recall it. 

In 1852 I went to College Hill, near Poughkeepsic, 
where my brother Gouv had been educated. This was 
about the best school in the country, a very large colonial 
building on top of a high hill, overlooking the whole neigh- 
borhood, and surrounded by farms and large woods through 
which we were allowed to roam. I worked hard and 
really learned something, particularly from Professor 
Charles Murray Nairn, teacher of the classics, who taught 
me how to study and became an intimate friend. After- 
ward I went to his school in New York. He was a Scotch- 
man, a gentleman, and a fine scholar; later he was professor 
of English literature at Columbia. College Hill was an 
up-to-date school; they had a fine gymnasium in a building 
expressly arranged for it, at a time when very few other 
schools had gymnasiums, and in this I worked hard and 
laid the foundation of considerable physical endurance 
which has served me well all through my life. Mr. Charles 
Bartlett, the principal, was not a scholar himself, but had 
the faculty of getting good assistants. He had a peek- 
hole behind his desk from which he could look out without 
being seen, and a boy never knew when he would suddenly 
be pounced upon. It was good in one way, because it 
kept the boys at work, but it was generally thought to be 
taking a mean advantage of us. Now Professor Nairn was 
a gentleman and put the boys on their honor. 

It was while I was at College Hill that the steamer 



Henry Clay was burned. There used to be great rivalry 
between the various fast Hudson River boats, and when 
this accident happened the Henry Clay wsls racing with the 
Armenia. The Clay took fire from her overheated boilers, 
and the captain ran her ashore near Yonkers, but the pas- 
sengers in the stern, which was in deep water, were cut off 
from the shore by the flames and many of them were 
drowned. Mrs. Bartlett, the wife of the principal of our 
school, was lost, and Miss Hawthorne, a sister of Nathaniel 
Hawthorne; and also an intimate friend of my mother's, 
Mr. A. J. Downing, the celebrated landscape-architect. 
He was a fine swimmer and rescued many people, acting 
very gallantly before he himself went down. Another bad 
river accident was the loss of the Swallow in 1845. She 
struck on a rock near Hudson one terribly stormy winter's 
night, while she was racing with the Express and the 
Rochester, and many lives wxre lost. 

I enjoyed all my school fife at College Hill. My most 
intimate friend was WilHe Prime; the Primes lived in New 
York, formerly on the corner of State Street and the Bowl- 
ing Green, and afterward in one of those swell-front houses 
in West Sixteenth Street. On Saturday afternoons Bill 
Prime and I would take long walks together in the woods; 
we collected birds' eggs and trapped and tamed squirrels, 
particularly flying squirrels. We once got a mother flying 
squirrel and a whole brood of young ones; she would sit 
with her wings spread out over them just hke a hen and 
chickens. Bill was fond of all sorts of natural history and 
was especially interested in snakes, which he would catch 
and hold up by their tails, much to my admiration, as I 
could not do anything except kill them — but this we never 
did. I had a real love for that boy. I did not see much 
of him in later years, for he was fond of a wild life, and 



shortly after left school and went to Texas. He was a 
handsome fellow, with winning ways, tall, and, like David 
of old, ruddy and of a fair countenance, not only manly- 
looking but manly and brave in every way. He was t he- 
father of Charlotte Prime, who married Will Benjamin, a 
cousin of my wife's. 

My mother died in New York in February, 1853. 

I did not go back to College Hill, but returned to the 
University Grammar School for the rest of that winter 
and boarded at Mrs. Plummer's all by myself. She had 
moved to the southeast corner of Fifteenth Street and 
Union Square, to a house which still stands and is now part 
of the Union Square Hotel. I was there about a year, and 
as my brothers were at Danskammer, I was alone. 

Billy Prime gave me two red squirrels that I kept in a 
wire cage in my room at Mrs. Phmimer's; she was so kind 
that she never objected, but it must have been a nuisance 
to have them in a bedroom. Mrs. Plummer and her daugh- 
ter Eliza were so kind to me that it was quite hke being 
at home, but it was not a very good plan to leave a Ixiy 
of my age his own master alone in New "\'ork; fortunately, 
I did not get into any mischief and it did me no harm. 

In pleasant weather I occasionally went to Danskam- 
mer, and whenever I felt like it I paid a visit to the Gou- 
vcrneur Wilkinses at Castle Hill, where I spent some 
of the happiest days of my childhood, with Uncle Gouv 
and Aunt Catherine, as I always called them, although 
they were not really blood relations. As I told you in the 
last chapter, Gouverneur Morris Wilkins's first wife was 
my mother's elder sister, Mary Somersall Ward; his second 
wife w^as Catherine Van Rensselaer. She was always most 
sweet and kind to me, and I had a standing invitation to 
visit them whenever I liked. As I was always welcome I 



went there very often. Uncle Gouv was a splendid-looking 
man, somewhat such a man in appearance as Daniel Web- 
ster, and of great ability, genial and delightful in conver- 
sation, a graduate of Yale and extremely well read. If he 
had been a poor man and felt the spur of necessity he would 
have become distinguished, but he never went in for pub- 
lic life or any profession. Although he had been a slave- 
holder he was a Republican and a strong supporter and 
admirer of Lincoln. 

On my visits at Castle Hill I usually drove with Uncle 
Gouv when he made his morning rounds. On these occa- 
sions he himself always drove the same large gray horse, 
everything spick and span and in perfect order. We w^ould 
first go to the post-office in Westchester village and then 
do various errands in the neighborhood, stopping to talk 
with every one he met, as all his neighbors respected him 
and liked to hear his views; indeed, I found it part of a 
liberal education to hear him express them. 

Castle Hill lay just at the junction of Westchester 
Creek and the Sound, directly opposite Zerega Point, and 
^ was one of the most beautiful places in the country. The 
house was an old one, having been built by Uncle Gouv's 
father or grandfather, and he had made additions to it 
himself with taste and discrimination. His library was a 
fine one, containing many of my grandfather Ward's 
books, which, of course, when Uncle Gouv died, went to 
his second wife. On her death she left it to Rensselaer 
Cruger, her nephew, but I do not know who now owns 
these books of my grandfather's, that he had brought from 
England and that had his coat of arms as a book-plate. 
The grounds of Castle Hill were terraced dow'n to Long 
Island Sound and beautifully planted, with greenhouses at 
intervals. I remember the delicious hothouse grapes and 



figs that came from the forcing-houses and graperies against 
the back of the house. The dining-room was of fine pro- 
portions, wainscoted to the ceiling with oaken panels on 
which hung portraits of his father, his grandfather, and 
Uncle Gouv himself, by Elliot, and also a portrait of Mrs. 
Wilkins as a young girl in a large flat sort of light-colored 

Mr. Wilkins left all his property, a very great estate, 
to his only daughter, Ellen, the first wife of John Screven, 
who was without fortune. She died two or three years 
after Mr. Wilkins, leaving several children (one of her 
daughters, Kitty, married Robert J. Turnbull and had a 
charming family of sons and daughters), but bequeathing 
all her property to her husband. Strange to say, when 
Mr. Screven died he left almost all Mr. Wilkins's property 
to a daughter by his second wife (Miss Van Rensselaer), 
w^ho was, of course, no relation to the W ilkinses. 

It was odd that so many of the Wilkins family con- 
nection should have married Van Rensselaers "en secondc 
noce." (Kitty Turnbull was once asked if the Van Rens- 
selaers were her relations; she said no, they only fur- 
nished stepmothers for her family.) For besides Mr. 
Wilkins's and Mr. Screven's second wives (both Van Rens- 
selaers), Kitty Turnbull's father-in-law, Doctor Turnbull, 
chose a Miss Van Rensselaer when he married for the 
second time. Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Turnbull had always 
said that they would never marry either widowers or slave- 
holders, but their husbands were both. Mr. Wilkins had 
large plantations in South Carolina and Doctor Turnbull 
in Mississippi. 

The Wilkins estate included Castle Mill, containing 
about three hundred acres, a large tract of land immedi- 
ately adjoining it, and several hundred city lots on Harlem 



llat, comprising the whole north front on the Central Park, 
on iioth Street, and the block fronting on the Central 
Park from io8th to 109th Streets, and much other prop- 
erty besides. This Harlem flat property was a large farm 
called the "Nutter Farm," which Uncle Gouv inherited 
from his mother, who was a Miss Nutter. When Central 
Park was laid out four hundred lots were taken for the 
park, so the whole northern end of the park was once the 
"Nutter Farm" and belonged to Mr. Wilkins. 

Mr. Clarence Davies, in a history of Westchester, does 
not speak of Castle Hill, but in mentioning that section 
of Westchester he remarks that there is still standing (about 
1 91 2) the remains of a fine old stone gate. This is evi- 
dently the gate of Castle Hifl, all that remains of that 
lovely and important country place. Nor does Mr. 
Davies, I think, make any reference to Gouverneur Wilkins 
in his book, although when I used to visit there he was one 
of the most distinguished figures in Westchester. It made 
me sad to read that book and realize that all those times 
are gone and forgotten, the only record of Castle Hill 
being a nameless gate-post or two to mark the site of a 
really historic and beautiful spot. 

The celebrated Gouverneur Morris of the Revolution 
was Uncle Gouv's uncle. Gouverneur Morris was very 
rich and did not marry until late in life. Uncle Gouv was 
his prospective heir, and there were others who were look- 
ing forward to inheriting from him, so they were all dis- 
appointed when a son was born to him and their hopes 
were blasted. They were discussing the name that was 
to be given to the child— in the end he was named Gou- 
verneur — and as at that time there was a famous general 
in Russia named Kutusoff, Uncle Gouv suggested that the 
child should be called after this general, but I dare say the 



poorer relations did not relish the pun as much as he did [ 
I took a trip once out to Morrisania, the old Morris place 
in Westchester, with my mother and Uncle Charles, when 
I was a very, very small boy. We went by tlie I larlem Rail- 
road, one of the first railways in this country, and Uncle 
made lots of jokes with me about my riding behind the 
"black pony," as he called the engine. There was a de- 
lightful swing under a big cherry-tree in the grounds of 
Morrisania, I remember. 

To return to New York. In 1854 there were many 
more opportunities for enterprising boys to enjoy them- 
selves than now. One favorite place for us to play was 
the large vacant space between Seventeenth Street and 
TwTnty-third Street, which was then mostly open pastures 
and orchards of large old pear and apple trees. Daniel 
Giraud Elliot, afterward the distinguished ornitholcjgist, 
who lived in his father's house in East Fourteenth Street, 
told me a few years ago that when he used to look out of 
his rear windows there was nothing in sight to the north 
but open fields. My chief playmates in those days were 
the Lathrop twins, Frank and Ned, who lived in Seven- 
teenth Street; with Albert and Walter Stanton we used to 
go skating on a pond in an open common about where 
Forty-second Street and Sixth Avenue cross. 

A large part of the block on Twenty-third Street be- 
tween Fifth and Sixth Avenues was devoted to Franconi's 
Hippodrome, the first thing of the kind on a grand scale 
that New York had seen. It was really a very fine circus, 
boasting real races with race-horses and jockeys. I was 
fascinated by these, and spent all my spare cash and most 
of my evenings there. Union Square, where we used to 
skate on the fountain, was, of course, a very dilTerent place, 
also, and it was another of the rally ing-places for the boys 



of the neighborhood, among whom were Bobby Goelet 
and Elbridge Gerry. Gerry was a tall, awkward boy, 
the butt of all the others. Doctor Cheever's church 
stood on the corner of Union Square and Fifteenth Street, 
where Tiffany built later, and where now some sad sale 
of rain-coats or the hke is usually in progress. For the rest, 
there were only dwelhng-houses around the square — Judge 
Kent, Judge Ruggles, and Mrs. Parish hved there. When 
I returned from abroad in 1859 the Everett House had just 
appeared on the north side. About the same time the 
famous Fifth Avenue Hotel, on Madison Square, was fin- 
ished. Both are now torn down. 

Morris Ketchum lived on Gramercy Park. His boys 
were great friends of mine, particularly Frank, and we 
used to congregate with other boys in the vacant lot back 
of his house, where we kept chickens, invented all sorts of 
games, and fought with the rowdies who periodically invaded 
the lots. One day Charley Ketchum, who was a great 
fighter, had an altercation with a rowdy, and on the latter's 
invitation we adjourned to a large vacant lot near First 
Avenue, where Charley fought him. About a dozen of our 
crowd went over, but there must have been one or two 
hundred roughs. The lot was level and sunken, with slop- 
ing sides fined with our enemies; though they played the 
game fairly it was a wonder we were not all killed. There 
were several other Ketchum boys, one of the younger of 
whom, Landon, had his front teeth filed so that he could 
more readily spit through them without opening his jaw. 
The Ketchums had lots of horses and ponies, and their 
stable in Fifteenth Street was a favorite resort where we 
all went to ride or drive the ponies, play games, and spar. 
The fine-looking colored coachman, named Ben, as a per- 
son of position and authority, looked out for us, and used 



to be very good-natured about harnessing up ponies when- 
ever we wanted them. As I was not accustomed to driving, 
I remember I had some difiicuhy in getting around the 

The Ellises were other schoolmates that I liked a great 
deal. Julius was very handsome, and always beautifully 
turned out, while Sam dressed very badly. One winter he 
wore no undercoat, but just a white overcoat buttoned up 
to the chin, with no shirt-collar showing; there was a tra- 
dition he wore no shirts ! But by fits and starts he would 
become a great dandy; I remember one winter, when we 
were all older, he had a blue coat with brass buttons and a 
leopard-skin waistcoat. Doctor Ellis lived in Second Av- 
enue. Later on I used to go there to spar w ith Sam, who 
was my particular friend. Between the rooms where wc 
sparred were folding-doors set with stained glass, and once 
I knocked Sam right through one of the doors and broke 
all the glass. 

One night Sam, Fred de Peyster — usually known as 
"Dip" — and I were coming home pretty late from a dance 
in Washington Place, I don't remember whose — I was 
boarding at that time in West Fourteenth Street, at Mrs. 
Jenks's boarding-house — when Sam and Dip espied a 
freight-wagon standing in University Place, opposite the 
Society Library, and dragged it up to my landlady's house 
and deposited it on her front steps. What she thought of 
it I could never find out without seeming dangerously 

Doctor Ellis was a graduate of West Point, and his five 
sons inherited military tastes, so in 1861 every one of them 
enlisted in the army. All were in the battle of Bull Run, 
and there the handsome Julius, so much admired, was 
killed; he had a military funeral at St. Mark's Church 



and a salute fired over his grave. Gus was killed at 
Gettysburg. Three of the brothers — Julius, Ash, and John 
— were in love with Julie Waterbury, who after numer- 
ous competing proposals finally decided on John. Sam 
had a nice turn for drawing and made excellent heraldic 
designs for the coats of arms of his friends. He had many 
acquaintances among barkeepers, and would invent gor- 
geously illuminated armorial bearings for them to hang 
up in their barrooms. He was a most quaint and witty 
fellow, altogether delightful. 




"We sit beneath the orchard trees, 

We hear, like them, the hum of bees 
And rustle of the bladed corn; 
We turn the pages that they read, 

Their written words we linger o'er. 
But in the sun they cast no shade, 
No voice is heard, no sign is made. 
No step upon the unconscious floor." 

— Whittier. 

One summer when I was about fourteen my mother 
blew off my brother Jack and me to a trip to Niagara, 
Trenton Falls, Saratoga, and Lake George. It took about 
two weeks. I remember just how I was dressed. I wore 
white shirts with a collar turned over my jacket and a 
colored cravat tied in a bow — we did not have colored 
shirts or scarfs in my day — my roundabouts were buttoned 
up the front with pearl buttons, and all my shirts were 
made with collars and cuffs on them. (I have never worn 
separate cuffs to this day.) My suits were linen, brown 
for ever>--day and colored for best; one was white with nar- 
row blue stripes. We wore straw hats and boots— real 
boots with legs — or sometimes low shoes. 

I kept a diars- in a butcher's book, entitled, "Journal 
of my Travels in the United States. Private." And 
though I don't need to consult its pages to refresh my 
memory — it is all as clear as if it were yesterday— I shall 



quote from it, for my boyish way of putting things seems 
to me amusing: 

"Started in the steamer New World for Albany, but she 
got aground and the passengers had to be taken off by a 
steamer behind us called the Mason. Mr. de Peyster was 
on board. Travelled all night on the cars and had a recess 
at Rochester for breakfast. Eat a whole broiled chicken 
and sundries to match. Saw a girl in the cars dressed in 
the Bloomer costume, blue with a gold band for border. 
She looked very ugly." 

At Niagara we stayed at the Clifton House on the Eng- 
hsh side, went under the Horseshoe Falls dressed in oilskins, 
and saw all the sights, including the animals in the museum 
— "skeleton of a whale, 3 bald-headed eagles, some very 
large cat owls, 2 wolves, 4 read headed cranes, the same 
as ours only they have red heads, they began to gobble 
when you told them to, 2 Buffaloes, he looked rather sav- 
age. A poor dinner, grizly beef and a small portion of 
bony chicken. Saw a great many eels on the rocks, dozens 
of them laying on the rocks. Went up Lundy's Lane to 
the Battle field, an old soldier gave us a description of it. 
Went on a double plank road to the Burning Spring that 
if you tutch it with fire it blazes up. We bought a bottle. 
Then we came up to the Devil's Hole. A man told us 
there were 200 Enghsh soldiers driven within and killed. 
The man was deformed and had only part of an arm with 
one finger near his armpit. Boiled turkey with oyster 
sauce, roast beef, ice cream and peaches. Went to Goat 
Island, a woman lost her handkerchief overboard and I 
caught it on a stick just as it was passing, a little washing 
did not hurt it any. Sunday. The service of the church 
of England is a great deal different, rather a poor sermon." 

** Started for Trenton, first in cars drawn by horses, 



then in a steamboat to BufValo. Went to Barnum's Mu- 
seum at Schenectady, a great humbug, and some Ethiopian 
Minstrels, miserable ones. A woman had S50 stolen from 
her pocket. After that we came home. There was a man 
selhng paper, a Yankee of course, you put it on a shcat 
with another over it and a dozen sheats under it and you 
can write on top and take the impression all the way 
through. You can take drawings the same as Hthographs 
and the impressions of leaves. He said he had a book 
that was full of the impressions of all sorts of leaves that 
he had offered him last year $250 for, and he would not 
take it. I believe it. I bought a paper of it, 4 colors, 
Black, Blue, Red and Green. You can mark clothes with 
it indelably and stone, wood, lace, and marble just the 

At Saratoga we stayed at Congress Hall, a iine hotel, 
built around a square, with a lawn in the middle where a 
band played in the evening. A piazza ran around the 
square with French windows opening on it, and on this 
piazza we had our rooms. All hotels were then kept on 
the American plan — you paid so much, including every- 
thing. As I remember, the usual charge was three dollars 
a day and there w^ere no extras. Hotels on the European 
plan were unknown. At this time Saratoga was the most 
fashionable resort in America— Newport had hardly been 
discovered— so the nicest people, particularly Southerners, 
went there and drank the waters. Every one went down 
each morning to the spring and drank, so we did too, 
though we thought it nasty. Saratoga was quite dillercnt 
from what it is now, for there was little racing in those 
days, and no sporting fast set, though they did have a 
trotting-course near by where Jack and I went. It was my 
first trotting-match. 



At Lake George we got hold of a nice fisherman, named 
Horace Welsh, and spent most of our time on the lake, 
catching some fine bass. "... It is Sunday today. After 
dinner we had ice cream, peaches, pineapples, plums, raisins 
and almonds. They have eight rattlesnakes here that 
they have had for some years, and all of that time they 
have not eaten anything." I remember that in the train 
coming home a lady asked me to get her a glass of water 
and when I brought it to her she offered me a tip, which I 
politely dechned. Outwardly I was calm, but inwardly I 
felt deeply insulted — I thought she should have known 
that I was a gentleman and above taking tips. It seems 
funny to remember this for nearly seventy years. 

My brother Charles was drow^ned in the river in 1848, 
and I think after the shock of this accident my mother 
tacitly encouraged us to go in for land-sports — shooting, 
riding, and the hke — rather than for sailboats. However 
this may be, I know I never cared much for saihng. 

My oldest brother was named WiKiam Henry, after 
my grandfather and my uncle who was killed in India. 
HsLvry had unusual natural abihties, but no staying quali- 
ties, and took up too many different pursuits in life. He 
began by going to too many different schools. After our 
tutors at home he went to Mr. Phinney's in Newburgh. 
Schoolmasters used heroic methods in those days. Mr. 
Phinney had a colored coachman named Sam, part of 
whose duty it w^as to hold the boys on his back by their 
hands, their bodies being well exposed, while Mr. Phinney 
flogged them. I think Harry went next to the school at 
Nazareth in Pennsylvania, built originally by Whitefield 
and kept by the Moravian Brothers. Judging by the lit- 
tle picture on their writing-paper it was a simple place, 
and the terms were a contrast to the ideas of St. Mark's or 



Groton to-day. They charged tliirly-fivc dollars a quar- 
ter, I find in an old bill, and four dollars for such extras 
as "washing and the Greek language." 

After this Harry tried Doctor Mufilenberg's famous 
school at Flushing, called "College Point." Although 
Harry gave him a great deal of trouble, Doctor Muhlenlx-rg 
was attached to him. When Doctor Muhlenberg was talk- 
ing to a boy of whom he was fond, he had a funny habit 
of taking off his pupil's cap in an absent-minded way and 
rubbing his head. Harry told me of meeting the Doctor 
in the street, after he was grown u|), and as soon as Harry 
took his hat off the Doctor started rubbing his head just 
from habit. While at College Point Harry once skated 
across the Sound; it was unusual to have it frozen, and he 
took advantage of the opportunity, but couldn't skate 
back because the ice broke up. After going to a military 
school at West Point he entered Trinity College, Hart- 
ford, in 1844, but only stayed a year. He was mixed up 
in some frolic in a room on the second floor of Jarvis Hall — 
I know the room well and I should say the windows were 
about twenty feet above the ground. When the professor 
came and knocked at the door Harry jumped out of the 
window and was pretty badly hurt; he broke something, 
his leg, I think, so he left college the end of his freshman 

He had always wanted to enter the na\T since his 
visits on board the North Caroliria with Uncle Charles, 
and my mother had tried her best to get him a warrant, 
through Mr. Legarc and other friends. Indeed, it was 
supposed to be all settled and Harry went to New ^ ork 
with Uncle, only to learn that the secretary of the navy 
had just died and had not signed the warrant after all. It 
was a great blow. But he was determined to go to sea 



anyway. So he got a position as cabin-boy on the clipper 
ship Water Witch, commanded by the notorious Bob Water- 
man, a fme sailor but very cruel and arbitrary — I think 
he was ultimately tried for the murder of a sailor. Harry 
was one of several cabin-boys, all, I believe, gentlemen's 
sons. It was the custom in those days for nice boys to 
go in this way to learn the sea. They wxnt to Hong Kong. 
It was the ship's first voyage and she made the return trip 
from there to New York in seventy-six days, the fastest 
trip of the day. One stormy, dark night Captain Water- 
man sent Harry up to reef a royal, which is, I believe, the 
highest and smallest sail on the main, or mizzen, mast of a 
fuII-rigged ship. Harry tried his best each time, but the 
bitter wind tore it away from him, so he slithered down to 
the deck and told the captain it couldn't be done. 

"Go up again and reef it and be d d to you, and 

don't come back till it's done," was the captain's answer. 
So up the mast Harry went and, finding the sail loose, 
flapping in the storm, he took out his sheath-knife and 
cut the whole sail clear and away it went. 

"Can't do it, sir!" he reported to the terrible captain. 

"What ! Why the can't you do it?" 

"Toproyalmizzen gone to leeward, sir!" And, strange 
to say, that was the end of it. 

A brief flirtation with the law came next in Harry's 
career. He studied for about a year in the law office of 
Wells and Van Wagenen, in New York— Mr. Thomas L. 
Wells was^ one of my father's most intimate friends— but 
most of his friends were studying medicine, among them 
Tom Pinckney, of South Carofina, so he shifted to the 
New York Hospital and got a smattering of medicine. 
Surgery had a fascination for him, and he probably would 
have made a success at it with his skilful hands, but just 



at that time, 1849, gold was discovered in California and 
he determined to go there and dig. So with his intimate 
friend Sam Craig he joined French's Expedition. They 
prepared themselves with saddles, rifles, etc., and went to 
Galveston, from which place they were to ride across the 
plains on horseback to Cahfornia. Frencli's Expedition, a 
large company of men, assembled at Galveston and actually 
started, but dissensions arose and dissatisfaction with 
French's arrangements; in a short time the whole thing 
was a failure, the train disbanded, and every man had to 
shift for himself. 

So Harry bought a horse and started to ride alone to 
California. It took him nine months. He crossed the 
American Desert, and he has told me how his only com- 
panions were the little horned toads that used to nestle 
in his blankets at night, when the desert was so breath- 
lessly still that he could hear the grains of sand moving. 
He passed through the site of El Paso — then, I think, only 
two rocks or perhaps a single house — swam his horse across 
the Colorado River, and finally reached the coast, where 
he took passage in a brig. The captain of the brig died 
on the w^ay, there was no one to navigate her, so Harry, 
who, of course, knew about sailing, took command and 
brought her into San Francisco. 

At the mines, as he was so handy with tools, he built 
himself a nice little house and was getting along fmely, 
when news came that his mother was ill— or perhaps he 
was just restless. Anyway, he left his house in the gold- 
diggings and returned to New York. While in the mininp- 
camp he also practised medicine and surgery, and actually 
amputated a man's kg. I believe the patient survived ! 

Harry happened to be in the South, staying with some 
of our relations, just before the Civil Wiu broke out. 



Though he was a Northern man, he was so closely con- 
nected with the South that when the neighbors began 
training a troop he helped them to drill, as he had been to 
a mihtary school. They had lots of fun. One day — I tell 
you this just as Harry told it— when the drill was over, 
they were having a feast in the woods, a splendid affair, 
with all sorts of good things sent by the Charleston ladies, 
wild turkey and plum-cake and wine, and every man with 
his body-servant standing behind him. After the feast 
one of his friends — I am not sure if it was "Powder'* 
Whaley or "Corkie" Huger — took him aside. 

"Harry," he said, "your interests are all in the North, 
and Vhere the purse is there the heart should be. A boat 
goes from Charleston to-night and it may be the last to 
leave the port; you'd better take it. I was in love with 
your mother, so look out for yourself, and don't get a knife 
in your back !" 

Strange to say, Harry took this advice — a thing he was 
never known to do before or since — and got the last boat 
from Charleston. As he was going up the gang-plank he 
happened to see Miss Sarah Matilda Grayson, a young 
cousin of my mother's, and "she looked so pretty and 
rosy" that he proposed then and there, with a "Tilly, will 
you marry me?" which she found agreeable. 

She was the daughter of the Honorable William Gray- 
son, of Charleston. (I believe Mattie, as we always called 
her, came near being named Gardenia Garden, after our 
relation Doctor Garden and the w^ell-known flower named 
in his honor by Linnseus.) Mr. Grayson approved highly 
of slavery, but was strongly opposed to secession. Unfor- 
tunately, though he was a Union man, he did not trust in 
our success in arms and invested all his money in Confed- 
erate bonds, and, of course, lost it. His theories about 



slavery are summed up In a pamphlet of 1851, whose argii- 
ments sound so curiously in one's ears to-day that I shall 
quote a few paragraphs: 

"There are two kinds of labor, hireling lal^or and slave 
labor. Let the North enjoy their hircHng hibor with all 
its advantages — pauperism, rowdyism, mobism and anti- 
rentism — its strikes, emeutcs and street fights — we of the 
South are satisfied with our slave labor. The hirehngs of 
Europe are clamoring for what they call the organization 
of labor. Slave labor is the only organized Ial)or ever 
known. It is the only condition of society in which labor 
and capital are associated on a large scale — in which their 
interests are combined and not in conflict. If the negroes 
were made free, whether peace or war ensued, they would 
in time become extinct." 

Mr. Grayson's poem, "The Hireling and the Slave," 
was widely read and endlessly quoted before the Civil 
War, and he was the biographer of his friend James Lewis 
Pettigrew, the great Carolina lawyer, also a Union man. 
After Mr. Grayson's death I edited his "Life of Pettigrew," 
and it was published by Harper, with a preface by Henry 
Tuckerman, the poet. 

To return to Harry — the day was set for his marriage 
to Miss Grayson, but the South just after the fall of Fort 
Sumter was in a most turbulent condition, and he had 
great difficulty in reaching Charleston. At Atlanta, on 
account of some reckless remark, he excited suspicion, and 
a furious mob collected and threatened to lynch him. A 
friend travelling with him was taking a nap in the hotel 
when he was aroused by the clamor in the street. Lookmg 
out he saw Harry standing in a corner between two houses, 
with his back to a wall and a pistol in his hand, facing a 
lot of yelling ruffians. He rushed out and brought the 



mayor, who was able to calm the mob for a moment, and 
who took Harry's arm and walked him off to safety. The 
crowd had a rope ready, so it w^as a pretty close shave ! 
While it was still touch and go, Harry told me that he saw 
right in front of him the man to w^hom he had been talking 
indiscreetly, and who had collected the mob. Harry said 
he fixed his eyes on him and said, "Perhaps I can kill only 
one, but you'll be that one!" which he thought took a 
little of the zest out of this ringleader, and made him keep 
the others back until the providential coming of the mayor. 

After his marriage Harry stopped touring the w^orld, 
and his Hfe on the old Acker Farm, not far from Danskam- 
mcr, was uneventful except for a tragedy — his only child, 
Httle Emmie, was drowned in the brook in front of their 
house. He never got over it. The Acker, or Eckhert, 
Farm was part of the original grant of a thousand acres 
from Queen Anne to Wolfert Eckhert, who built "Wolfert's 
Roost," the house where Washington Irving lived after 
changing its name to ''Sunnyside." Harry's house w^as a 
quaint old place, with huge fireplaces and enormously thick 
walls of brick and stone, built by Wolfert as a blockhouse 
to defend the inhabitants against the Indians; it is by far 
the oldest house in the neighborhood. 

Harry was a splendid rider, an excellent shot, and a 
good sportsman in every w^ay. There w^as nothing he did 
not know about dogs, especially the training of pointers. 
Most of his pointers were of the famous Wade Flampton 
breed, named after the governor of South Carolina. One, 
named Shot, that he had trained from a puppy, was ex- 
traordinarily clever. If he saw Harry's horse being saddled, 
he knew that Marlborough was the objective, and he would 
take a certain short cut across the fields and meet him on 
the main road. If, on the other hand, he saw the horse 



being harnessed into a wagon, he would guess that he was 
going in the opposite direction to Newburgh, where all the 
household shopping was done, and another short cut would 
bring master and dog together on the Newburgh road. 
Harry spent a winter at Summerville, and often went in 
to Charleston with Shot, sometimes by rail, sometimes in 
a wagon. One day he drove in, and somehow or other lost 
the dog in town. Shot went to the railway-station in 
Charleston, boarded the train, and returned alone to Sum- 
merville. The conductor watched him and told Harry 
that he got off the train at Summerville like any other 
passenger, only he did not give him any ticket. 

Harry had the most ingenious hands that I have ever 
seen. Not only could he carve pretty little heads out of 
peach-pits and cherry-stones, and whittle all sorts of orna- 
mental things, such as toys and work-boxes, but he was an 
excellent cabinetmaker and made good furniture. At sea 
he had learned to sew and knit and could make a pair of 
trousers or net the most intricate kind of fish-nct. 

He was a fearless rider and could take a horse over 
almost anything. On one occasion he was in Newburgh 
with a pair of horses that sometimes ran away, so he 
thought he would give them a lesson. When they started 
from Newburgh it was late at night and he had a free road, 
so he let them run; when they seemed to tire and lag a 
little he laid the whip on, and instead of turning In at his 
own road he kept on, eight miles in all, to Marlborough. 
At Marlborough there is an abrupt decline over a bridge, 
then a flat road for about a mile, and then a long, long hill. 
They went over all this distance, between nine and ten 
miles, on a dead run, without let-up or mishap, but when 
they struck that last long hill they gave in, only too glad 
to turn their heads and walk quietly toward home. They 



never attempted to run away again. Imagine the fun he 
had — driving lickety-split, regardless of consequences, mile 
after mile, up and down hill, over a rough narrow road in 
the middle of the night ! It was characteristic of him — 
he was afraid of nothing. 

He is buried at Christ Church, Marlborough, near the 
grave of his wife and Httle Emmie. 

"Home is the sailor, home from sea, 
And the hunter home from the hill." 

As long as I can remember anything my best friend in 
the family was my brother Gouverneur, named after Uncle 
Gouv Wilkins. As a very little boy, when he was away 
at school, I used to gather the best pears and other fruit 
and save them for him. He gave me my first rifle and 
taught me how to shoot it, and as soon as I was able to 
carry a gun we used to explore all the woodcock swamps in 
the neighborhood and across the river. Sometimes we 
went to a swamp near Lattintown, where there was a fme 
cold spring and a nice place to eat our lunch, while another 
favorite resort was a large swamp back of Wappingers 
Falls. We had a dog of Augustus Stebbins's for some time 
and I remember his following a wounded bird for over four 
hundred yards through this swamp, and then bringing him 
in. Gouv was a walker who never tired; in Switzerland 
he walked the fifty miles over the Simplon Pass in one day. 
They tell me that in Florida he would start out with his 
gun early in the morning and tramp all day, with no lunch 
but a lemon. He was the best shot I ever saw. In Florida 
Ned was his finest hunting-dog, a black-and-tan Gor- 
don setter. He was once bitten by a rattlesnake and 
Gouv carried him home two and a half miles in his arms 
and nursed him back to health, though he bore the scar 



of the bite the rest of his life. One evening, w hen he was 
very old, he went out to the orange-grove with Gouv, and 
amused himself for a little while hunting the flock of quail 
that lived there; then he came up to Gouv, lay quietly 
down at his feet, and died. 

Gouv was educated by our private tutors until he went 
to "College Hill" at Poughkeepsie, of which I have already 
spoken. They made a fine classical scholar of him, and 
begged my mother to let him go to college, but there was 
a good opening for him with Maitland, Phelps, so she put 
him there. I think she made a mistake, for the "counting- 
house," as it was called in those days, never suited him. 
In fact, she soon realized this and sent him to live with 
Isaac Conkling, who worked the Acker Farm for us on 
shares, to learn farming, which he really liked. Isaac was 
a fine old fellow and we were all fond of him. He was not 
garrulous; driving back from Newburgh one day with 
Gouv, after doing some shopping for his wife, he never 
spoke the whole seven miles except once when he grunted, 
"Durn them victorines!" and relapsed into silence. This 
fashionable kind of ladies' cape was evidently expensive. 

When my mother died she left Gouv as my guardian. 
In the fall of 1854 I started for Trinity College. Gouv 
went with me as far as New York and blew me off to a 
lunch at old Delmonlco's, at the corner of Beaver Street. 
I don't remember all we had, but I do recall there were 
apple fritters with sherry sauce. At college Doctor Good- 
win, the president, was not always, to put it mildly, pleased 
with my conduct, and he used to write to Gouv as my 
guardian and ask him to expostulate with me. But he 
did not try this very long, for Gouv thought ever>-thing I 
did was about right and always answered that he thought 
Doctor Goodwin had better just talk the matter over with 



inc. So you see after my mother's death I was practically 
my own master, except in the matter of money, for Gouv 
iicid the purse-strings until I was grown up. ^ ^ 

I think it was in 1870 that Gouv went to live in Florida. 
He had often stayed at Hibernia, a dehghtful old planta- 
tion house on the St. John's kept by Mrs. Fleming, and 
became so fond of the Flemings and of the lovely place 
that he fmally bought some land there and planted a mag- 
nificent orange-grove, which was very profitable until the 
great freeze of 1897, when all the trees were killed down to 
the ground. 

About the pleasantest part of these Florida winters of 
Gouv's was his camping trips. Sometimes he went with 
CaroII Livingston and very often with F. Augustus Peabody, 
of Boston. Each of them had a Rice Lake canoe and they 
took along a negro man who was an excellent cook and who 
rowed the boat with their cooking kit, tents, etc. They 
often went as far as the Gulf of Mexico and down the 
coast, sleeping in tents, and except for groceries, hving 
on the game and fish they killed. Wild turkeys were plen- 
tiful, and both Peabody and my brother were splendid 
shots, so they must have hved high. To call the turkeys 
Gouv used to go out into the swamps at night, sometimes 
standing up to his neck in water, with a "call" made from 
the wing-l)one of a turkey. Lots of big gobblers would 
come at his summons and light in the near-by trees. As 
they travelled along they would come across natives who 
could take them to good turkey ground. I remember Gus 
Peabody telling me of a boastful fellow who joined them 
as they walked along a road and began blowing about his 
prowess in shooting. Suddenly two turkeys were flushed 
and went sailing straight down the trail. Gouv killed one 
with each barrel, but the braggart was too scared to get 



his gun off. It was on one of these same trips that Gouv 
in walking across a swamp felt something writhe under his 
feet. He gave a spring forward and, looking back, saw 
an enormous rattler, its head up, ready to strike. He 
shot it and when it was measured by Doctor W'yman, a 
friend and associate of Agassiz, he found it was seven 
feet long, the largest they had ever seen. 

Gouv was the finest of men, temperate, honorable, and 
straightforward, kindly, loyal to his friends— good to look 
at, too, with his upright figure, ruddy face, and china-bhic 
eyes. I loved him dearly. He died at Hibernia and is 
buried in the httle churchyard there, a lovely, cahn spot. 
A few years later I went again to Hibernia for the funeral 
of John Neilson, my brother-in-law and a warm friend of 
Gouv's. They are buried next to each other. In the eve- 
ning — a swTet early-winter evening, with a light wind 
whispering in the pine-trees and stirring the veils of gray 
moss that drape their branches — I walked over to the 
churchyard. Palms and roses were piled at the heads of 
the two graves, side by side. It is a fitting resting-place 
for my dear Gouv, and the one he would have chosen and 
loved best. 




"I watch them drift — the old familiar faces, 
Who fished and rode with me by stream and wold." 


In the autumn of 1853, when I was seventeen, we were 
all at Danskammer when my three brothers decided to 
spend the winter in Charleston. I see now that I ought 
cither to have gone to school again somewhere or entered 
college, but my brothers thought it would be a good plan 
for me also to spend the winter in South Carohna, particu- 
larly as Mrs. Martin Wilkins, who Hved in Charleston, had 
asked me to stay with her. My brothers suggested that I 
could take my books along and study just as well there as 
anywhere else. So a httle later I went by steamer to 
Charleston; it was my first experience of the sea and I was 
very seasick, but when I arrived I was delighted with the 
semi-tropic climate of Carohna after the November land- 
scape I had left at home. The Wilkinses received me at 
their house in Charleston, a nice old-fashioned house Hke 
many others in the town, with an entrance-hall running on 
one side the whole length of the house, and the parlor and 
other rooms opening on it. Mrs. Wilkins, who had been 
a Miss Grimble, was a sweet and gentle old lady, a great 
friend of my mother's. Her husband, Uncle Gouv Wilkins*s 
brother, had died, leaving her with three sons and three 
daughters: Gouverneur had just graduated from Yale and 
was a planter, Martin was a lawyer, and Berkeley was in 
business in Charleston; Eliza I knew already, for she had 



stayed with us at Danskammer, a charming girl just grow- 
ing up, and the other two girls were still younger, Ixjth of 
them pretty. The Civil War came on soon after they 
grew up, the family suffered losses, and these lovely girls 
never married. 

The first thing I did when I arrived al I Ik- Wilkinscs* 
was to put my Latin and Greek books in a closet for future 
reference, with the result that I did not look at them once 
until I returned to New York in the spring. A day or two 
after I got there the family went to the country for tlic 
winter, and as there were no other means of transport in 
those days we drove in their carriage to their {plantation, 
Kelvin Grove, near Rantowle's, about twenty miles from 
Charleston. It was a rice and cotton plantation, but not 
a very large one, having only about forty slaves. 

Kelvin was near the plantation of Mr. Tom Lowndes, 
whose pretty adopted daughter, Adela, afterward mar- 
ried young Gouv Wilkins. These were typical combina- 
tion rice and cotton plantations — wide, hospitable houses, 
the kitchens off in separate buildings with enormous open 
fireplaces where all the roasting and boihng was done. 
There were private graveyards with quaint tombstones of 
former proprietors, and broad ricc-fields intersected with 
ditches, with reserves for water. Along the sedg^- banks 
Enghsh snipe abounded and in the higher ground, in the 
broom-grass, quail were plentiful There were also deer 
and wild turkeys in the forest, where there were large 
tracts of pine-trees, and the vast swamps were swarming 
with ducks and alHgators. Bay-trees grew thickly along 
the edges of the lakeHke reserves, and here was where we 
found the most woodcock. 

On the plantation was a nice httle village of comfortable 
white cabins for the negroes. But there always was in 



evidence a driver, as he was called, who was a superior 
negro and carried a whip. The whips used were made of 
hickory, with a solid handle that tapered off until it was 
flexible. To this was attached the ten-foot rawhide whip- 
lash. The driver always had it in his hand as he walked 
about among the workers in the cotton-field, and if he spied 
a loiterer the whip sprang out hke Hghtning, so that there 
was no idhng. In the evening the hands were all assembled 
at the cotton-house, where the cotton was stored. Each 
hand's bag of cotton w^as weighed, and if it did not come 
up to what he ought to have picked he had so many lashes 
— not on his bare back, but even through his shirt it must 
have hurt. It was taken as a matter of course, and no 
remarks were made by the victims. One evening one of 
the young negroes was caught kilhng a neighbor's pigs. 
They had circumstantial evidence and wanted him to 
confess, so he was brought out and whipped, pretty severely, 
but he would not acknowledge it; perhaps he was innocent. 

This was a plantation where the slaves were well 
treated; on places where the owners were really cruel there 
were, of course, terrible abuses. Here they had medical 
attendance from Gouverneur Wilkins, who had studied 
medicine for the purpose, a chaplain visited them at inter- 
vals, and they were taught to read by the ladies of the 
family. They were well fed, and on the whole they were 
comfortable and happy. But they were slaves. Person- 
ally, in spite of my close connection with the South, I have 
ahvays detested slavery and felt the greatest pity for the 
colored people. 

The first morning after my arrival at Kelvin, Gouverneur 
Wilkins took me out shooting on the rice-fields. I had a 
nice little gun which had been a flint-lock belonging to my 
grandfather, Colonel Armstrong, but which had been 



altered to a percussion-lock. It was i8-gauge and had a 
gold thumb-piece with a crest, our "hand and dagger" — 
an excellent gun, made by Nock of London. After the 
rice is planted the fields are flooded at intervals with water, 
which comes through locks from a vast reserve, or pond. 
As I was there in winter the water was turned off and the 
fields were comparatively dry; they were filled with EngHsh 
snipe and the shooting was very fine. The snipe is a diffi- 
cult bird because when he first rises and is comparatively 
quiet he is too near to shoot; he then begins to gyrate and 
dash from side to side, then sails away. Though not an 
easy mark, this is the moment to shoot him. I was then 
only a pretty good shot, but I rapidly improved with so 
much practice. The best quail-shooting was at a place 
called "the Winnows," a disused plantation belonging to 
Mr. Tom Lowmdes, the next neighbor. On this pkice were 
large fields overgrowm with broom-grass, interspersed with 
small pine-trees. Here there were quantities of quail. 
Gouv Wilkins had fine hunting-dogs, pointers, and Miss 
Eliza Wilkins had a nice brown saddle-pony, which she 
did not ride much, so she lent it to me and it was hke hav- 
ing my own horse. I had him out almost every day. He 
was broken so that he was not afraid of gun-fire, and 
would stand so still that one could shoot from his back 
just as well as from the ground. I often shot quail from 
his back. I spent almost the entire winter with the Wil- 
kinses, but as I went shooting almost every day I made some 
return for their hospitality by keeping them well supplied 
w^ith quail, snipe, doves, and ducks. The corn-stalks in 
the fields are not cut as they are in the North, but the cars 
of corn arc picked in the field and the stalks left standing, 
and these immense fields of standing corn-stalks were a 
fine cover for doves, which are excellent birds for eating. 


The best shooting I ever did was to kill eleven English 
snipe out of thirteen shots. I once had a good shot at a 
wild turkey, but did not kill him; I only had No. 8 quail- 
shot and it was too fine, duck-shot being needed. There 
were almost impenetrable swamps adjoining the rice-fields, 
swarming with ducks. I well remember my first duck. It 
was a mallard, a drake, called in South Carolina an English 
duck; he came flying over my head, and when I shot him 
he fell directly at my feet. It was an event of my life. 
The mallard is one of the handsomest ducks that fly, 
gray with beautifully barred wings and iridescent head and 

'Coon-hunting was a favorite night amusement. At 
first I went out with some of the negroes who had 'coon- 
dogs, but in a little while I thought that it would be fine to 
have two dogs from home, so I sent to Danskammer and 
had Wasp and Crib sent down, and they soon devel- 
oped into excellent 'coon-dogs. We bought Wasp from 
the Delanos' coachman. He was a thoroughbred black- 
and-tan terrier, but the largest terrier I ever saw, very 
muscular and a wonderful runner and Jumper. He caught 
full-grown rabbits by running them down, and could jump 
a board fence four feet high, just touching it with his feet 
as he went over. He could jump up and take a piece of 
bread from your hand stretched up to its full height. 
Crib was a white bull-terrier, with a black patch over 
his eye that gave him a sinister look. I was once out 
with Wasp and Crib in the woods when we started an 
otter, which took to the water in a canal in the woods. 
We chased him some distance and at intervals he would 
appear above the water and Wasp would jump into the 
water right on top of him; fortunately he did not close with 
him, because otters are dangerous beasts. Finally he got 



under a bank with the most awful growhng, and wc could 
not dislodge him. When I took Wasp and Cril) home 
to New York, the Wilkinses' colored coachman took mv 
in the carriage with the dogs down to Charleston. Some 
man came along and admired the dogs, and the old coach- 
man, who also admired them, remarked: "Dem's not 
ornary dogs; dem's nordern dogs." 'Coon-hunting was a 
picturesque sport; two or three darkies would bring their 
dogs, making, with Wasp and Crib, quite a pack. The 
'coon, when disturbed by the dogs, woukl take to a tree, 
then one of the negroes would light a torch of fat pine, 
and the whole company, including the 'coon in the tree, 
would be lighted up by the blaze; one of the darkies 
would climb the tree and shake the 'coon down and the 
dogs w^ould kill it. I always gave the 'coons to the negroes, 
much to their delight. We never found a 'possum, which 
they esteem even more than the 'coon. 

There were also black and gray squirrels in abundance 
on the plantation, and many rabbits. The Southern rab- 
bit looks like the Northern, but the latter is a hare and 
has a hairy foot, while the Southern cousin has a foot Hkc 
a dog's. The snakes were the most unattractive feature 
of that country. They swarmed everywhere, more par- 
ticularly along the ditches of the rice-fields, which are 
usually bordered with low bushes; these bushes were hter- 
ally festooned with them. They were, I beheve, usually 
harmless, but disgusting. One frequently saw black snakes 
six or seven feet long hanging down from low trees, bii* 
one had to get used to them, also to the quantities of alli- 
gators in the swamps. When surprised the alligators 
would take to the water and, either in a spirit of bravado 
or curiosity, they would submerge entirely, except for the 
extreme tips of their noses, which they left projectmg 



about a quarter of an inch above the surface, and sail up 
and down for a long while, without causing a ripple. I 
frequently fired at them, but with no success. 

The Wilkinses were most hospitable. One day I was 
riding with Gouv near Rantowle's, when two gentlemen 
came along and asked if there was any hotel near there 
where they could spend the night. Gouv told them the 
depressing truth, but then said that he would be happy to 
have them accept his hospitality, and that if they would 
go home with us he would look out for them. This they 
did, ahhough perfect strangers. 

Mr. William Haskell had a plantation near by and he 
would sometimes go hunting deer w^ith us; he was an excel- 
lent rider and looked well on his handsome thoroughbred 
chestnut mare. I admired this mare so much that he once 
lent her to me, and I rode down to Charleston and back, 
twenty miles each w^ay. I went down in the morning, had 
dinner there, and came home in the afternoon, forty miles. 
We had many fox-hunts as well as deer -hunts. In Caro- 
lina they only have the gray fox, which is not like the red 
fox that will make a long run straight away, for he keeps 
doubhng so that you may hunt him a long while in a con- 
fined space. We never caught one, but it made no differ- 
ence, because we had the fun of riding, and an occasional 
rail fence to jump, but the obstacles w^re usually only 
ditches or fallen logs. Sometimes the countrymen, "poor 
whites," or "crackers," as they are called, would join in, 
bringing their hounds. Every man had a dog or two, and 
all rode little ponies, called "tackeys." These were com- 
plete saddle-horses, very small but active and pretty, not 
ponies but little horses. These "crackers" were a very 
poor class, morally, intellectually, and physically, pretty 
low down. Even the negro slaves despised them and 



called them "poor whites." They were wretched-looking 
men, and as they lived in that malarial country winter and 
summer, and had fever and ague all the time, they were so 
weak and languid that they could hardly swing themselves 
on the backs of their little horses. 

One day Gouv Wilkins took me down to Mr. Hugh 
Wilson's place on John's Island, about twenty miles from 
Kelvin. This was a fine plantation, one of those where 
they raised "sea-island cotton," a long-stapled cotton very 
celebrated, and only raised, I believe, on the coast and 
islands near there. Mr. Wilson had a deer-park of five 
thousand acres, fenced in and kept cxckisively for deer- 
hunting. He had a fine pack of hounds and several hunts- 
men. Gouverneur Wilkins rode his fine brown saddle-horse 
and I rode Eliza's brown pony, each of us equipped with 
saddle-bags and carrying a gun. We arrived at Mr. Wil- 
son's place in time for dinner and were handsomely enter- 

Early in the morning of the second day of our visit at 
John's Island we went deer-hunting. Several of the neigh- 
bors joined in the hunt. The method they follow there in 
hunting is to station the hunters at certain points where 
they know from experience that the deer when driven out 
always go. Sitting on my horse, I was stationed near a 
sort of road or path, looking out over a part of the forest, 
thinly wooded with tall pine-trees; I heard the hounds bay- 
ing, and presently I saw a deer loping through the woods, 
on its way to pass me about fifty yards away. I fired and 
evidently hit him, for he slackened his pace, and the hounds 
coming up they caught him after he had gone a few paces. 
It was my first deer and it was the custom to mark with 
blood the fortunate hunter when he bagged his first deer. 
I was prepared to stand it, and one of the gentlemen began 



to bathe his hands in blood preparatory to smearing it on 
my face, when the others protested and they let me off. 
Later in the day I shot another one, and in the evening 
we rode home, twenty miles, reaching Kelvin late at night. 
It was an all-day ride and rather too much for my little 
pony. I have been deer -hunting several times since, but 
these were the only deer I ever killed. 

Mr. Wilson had known my grandfather, Colonel John 
Ward, whose place was near by, for whom he had a great 
respect and regard. I wish I could remember my grand- 
father Ward. He seems to have been an ideal grandfather. 
My mother often told us about the Christmas parties he 
used to give in Charleston, how he played with the children 
and told them dehghtful stories and kept them all in a 
flutter of happiness. 

Colonel Ward's grandfather, also named John, came 
from England and was shipwrecked on his way to Carolina, 
saving nothing but a fat gold watch with St. George and 
the dragon on the back, which I now have. Colonel Ward, 
who served in the United States army in the War of 1812, 
was a distinguished lawyer and for some time president of 
the Senate of South Carohna. The diary of Edward 
Hooker, of Hartford, who chronicled his impressions of 
the South in 1807, while a professor at the University of 
South Carolina, describes my grandfather as president of 
the Senate, "wearing a long Hght blue satin robe edged 
with white fur." He goes on to say: "A more pleasing 
speaker I have rarely heard; he has at command a rich 
stock of words and ideas, and speaks entirely in the Sheri- 
danean dialect, which is used by most educated Charles- 
tonians. Mr. Ward is a small man — pleasant and face- 
tious disposition, penetrating look, quick and graceful in 
motion, dignified when in the chair but a little prone to 
levity when out of it." 



My Grandfather Ward was a planter as well as a law- 
yer. His plantation on John's Island was called Seven 
Oaks from a huge seven-branched live-oak on the place. 
I have a large dinner-set of pink Lowestoft china that was 
buried on John's Island during the Revohition when the 
British pillaged the neighborhood, after being driven out 
of their earthworks in the battle of Stony Ferry. All 
treasures that were not carefully hidden were stolen or 
destroyed. It must have been quite a job to bury all 
that china — over a hundred pieces. 

Colonel Ward married Mary Somersall. In an Inter- 
esting picture by Copley which I have she is represented 
as a young girl standing by the seated figures of her mother 
and grandmother, Mrs. Thomas Hartley. A little child, 
a cousin, who was afterward Mrs. Deas, with a small 
dog, complete the family group. The picture is unusual, 
as it shows three generations of mothers and daughters; 
the figure of the old lady is especially well painted. 

My grandfather Ward is buried in Trinity Churchyard 
in New York, next to the tomb of Alexander Hamilton. 
His overseer, who begged that when he died he might be 
buried near by, lies beside him. There is also a tablet to 
his memory in the "Muniment Room" of Trinity. To 
my mind it would add very much to the appearance and 
certainly to the interest of old Trinity if the monuments 
and tablets which formerly decorated its walls were put 
back into the church. I have heard strangers remark that 
in contrast to an English church of the same type the bare 
walls of Trinity are most uninteresting. 

I wish very much that I had been able to go to Seven 
Oaks when I was staying with the Wilsons. My brother 
Harry knew^ the place well and often visited there. He 
told me that he had seen in the neighboring cottages old 
tombstones of the Ward family used in front of fireplaces 



and front doors as hearths^ and door-steps. Mr. Wilson 
was a very rich man at the time I stayed at his beautiful 
old place, but the Civil War ruined him; he lost all his 
slaves and his plantation, and his grandchildren were poor. 
He was a fme man, a gentleman of the old school, who kept 
open house and was an all-round sportsman. He not only 
had a splendid pack of hounds and fme hunting-dogs, but 
he kept beautiful game-cocks, each of which had his sep- 
arate run. My brother Harry was very intimate at his 
house and spent several winters there, and his son John, 
a fme rider and shot, used to visit us at Danskammer. 

This winter of which I am writing my three brothers, 
Harry, Gouv, and Jack, spent in Charleston, varying their 
stay there by visits to neighboring plantations. Jack was 
a member of the South Carohna Jockey Club and of the 
Charleston Club, and used to go to the Saint Ceciha balls, 
all of which it was considered an honor to belong to. He 
was good-looking, dressed well, and enjoyed the society of 
that winter. 

I was too young to go to the Saint Cecilias, and I only 
attended one ball in Charleston, which was at the Haynes*. 
Miss Hattie Hayne was a beauty, the daughter of the 
celebrated Hayne who debated with Daniel Webster. The 
Lowndes, on the plantation next to Kelvin, had a very 
pleasant party, with dancing and good cheer, and there 
were several parties in the neighborhood, to all of which I 
went — there were some pretty cousins of the Lowndes's 
named Brisbane — but my time was chiefly spent in shoot- 
ing, fox and deer hunting, and as I was already fond of 
sketching from nature I made several sketches of Kelvin 
and the neighborhood. 

I attended the races one day at the Annual Meet at the 
Charleston Race Course, a celebrated course and a great 
society event. During that year two famous horses had 



been competing at all the race-courses throughout the 
country and creating great interest; they were Nina, 
sired by Revenue, and Red Eye, sired by Boston, who 
also was the sire of Lexington. The excitement over 
their races was intense, partly because it was a contest 
between the get of Revenue and Boston, great rivals. 
If I remember rightly, Red Eye was usually the winner. 
The day I was there Red Eye was entered in a four-mile 
race, but as Nina was not on hand, and no other horse 
dared to meet the famous champion, he ran the four miles 
alone in order to win the purse. He was a splendid 
powerful bay horse. 

The earliest races in Carolina were in 1734 on a green 
on Charleston neck, the prize being a saddle and bridle 
valued at twenty pounds. In those early times the horses 
were of the Chickasaw breed, a stock introduced into 
Florida by the Spaniards, small but active animals. But 
very soon fme horses were imported from abroad. There 
was a famous horse called Abdallah, brought from 
Arabia to Gibraltar and from there to Port Royal not long 
before the Revohition, who was sixteen hands high and 
had never been ridden until Mr. Frank Huger, being dared 
to mount him, "put his hand upon the flowing mane of 
the snorting animal, with one bound vaulted upon his 
back, and sat hke an equestrian statue, unmoved!" 

Flimnap, a black Godolphin Arabian bred by Sir 
John Moore and later owned by Major Harleston, of Caro- 
lina, was another great horse. He had a narrow escape 
in the War of 181 2, for the British Major Tarleton was so 
anxious to get hold of him that he actually hung a negro 
stable-boy to a tree because he would not tell where he 
was hidden in a swamp. Luckily the Redcoats rode away 
in time for the boy to be cut down. 

Before going home that winter I spent three very pleas- 



ant weeks at my cousin Ellen Screven's place near Poco- 
taligo, Castle Hill, named, I suppose, after Uncle Gouv's 
place in Westchester of which I have spoken in a previous 
chapter. I went up by a steamboat, stopping at Beaufort 
for dinner with some relations of the Screvens. Part of 
the way the boat ran out to sea and I was very seasick, but 
quite late in the evening we left the sea and sailed along a 
river, and when about midnight we landed I had recovered 
and was fearfully hungry. At the landing a man was 
waiting for me and we had a considerable drive before we 
reached Castle Hill, arriving so late that the family had 
gone to bed. I was cold and hungry, and I shall never 
forget the bright fire and cheerful, warm dining-room, and, 
best of all, some delicious wild ducks — they were teal — and 
a decanter of sherry. 

The Screvens were dehghtfully hospitable and let me 
do just as I pleased there. They were still young, with 
five httle children, and lived handsomely in extreme com- 
fort. They had a stable of good horses, and I had a mount 
whenever I w^anted one; and the shooting was excellent, 
particularly ducks. There was a large reserve for flooding 
the rice-fields, filled with flocks of ducks, and at the upper 
end of it a river where blue-winged teal abounded. I 
would go up this, shooting as I went, and then down; up 
and down as long as you wished, all the time the birds 
rising before you. Screven had a large rice plantation, 
and to house his slaves had a good-sized village of white 
cabins, where the negroes were comfortable and seemed 
happy. These negroes had formerly belonged to Colonel 
Ward, who had left four hundred slaves to my Aunt Mary, 
Mrs. Gouverneur Wilkins, but only a few to my mother, 
as she did not care to own slaves. The few she inherited 
she set free. When I was staying with the Screvens I had 



a brisk little darky about my own age allotted to mc, who 
brought water for my bath, blacked my boots, ran errands 
for me, and was always at my command. 

As Screven was then very prosperous, he was adding to 
his slaves whenever he had a chance to buy a good one. 
To show what they cost, just before I went there he Ix)ught 
a carpenter for whom he paid thirty-seven hundred dollars. 
The planters were then at the height of their glory. John 
H. Screven served in the Confederate army, I think as 
major. At the close of the war he was ruined, lost all his 
slaves, and when I saw him later at Mr. Wilkins's place in 
Westchester he had nothing but his bare land in South 
Carolina. Some of his TurnbuII grandchildren now own 
the plantation Castle Hill, and often spend their winters 

This winter at the South was delightful and one of the 
pleasantest times of my life — no care and lots ot lun. There 
was no continuous railway to Charleston in those days and 
one had to travel back and forth by steamers, which, on 
the whole, were excellent. Going down had been my first 
experience of the sea. Returning, I left the South lookmg 
like summer, the woods fdled with jasmine. I arrived 
at New York on the 24th of April, and when I stepped off 
the steamer there was deep snow on the ground. It was 
at night, so I went to the Stevens House on Broadway 
near the corner of Rector Street. It was a good hotel; 
later occupied down-stairs by a branch of Delmonico's. I 
was accompanied by Wasp and Crib, who were soon safely 
at home at Danskammcr. 

Martin Wilkins was a delightful fellow. He visited us 
at Danskammer in the summer of 1855, at the same time 
with Lewis TurnbuII and Elisha Tracy, both of whom 
had just graduated from Trinity College. We all sparred, 



except Martin, and used to adjourn to the garret, which 
was an enormous room covering the whole top story of 
the Danskammer house. This had a fine open floor and 
Lewis TurnbuH and I had a series of set-to's there. We 
sparred so briskly that both he and I got pretty bad black 
eyes. We had decided that we must all visit West Point 
and spend the day and night there, but we were almost 
deterred from going on account of the black eyes, but I 
tried my hand at painting them in water-colors so that 
they were not very perceptible. We went to Cranston's 
Hotel, but as that was crowded and no rooms were 
available, they put four cots for us in the cupola and we 
slept up there. 

Long after this Southern winter of mine, in 1897, I got 
a letter from Gouv Wilkins, whom I knew so well then, 
speaking of the sad fate of Kelvin and all those other fine 
old country places. 

"When you visited Kelvin in 1853," he writes, "you 
made a painting of the residence, and if it lacked the 
element of beauty it was the fault of the house for you 
certainly portrayed it correctly. I do not think we have 
met since and what changes have taken place! My last 
visit to New York was in 1858 and since then what changes 
there — Fourteenth Street was almost out of town ! 

"Mr. Lowndes, my father-in-law, died penniless. In 
1855 he bought Kelvin from my mother and also the Has- 
kell plantation above it, and added them to his property 
below, the whole costing him near fifty thousand dollars, 
which he paid in cash. All of them together were sold in 
1886 to pay his debts and brought at pubfic sale only 
$7500. This, with the loss of two hundred negroes, ex- 
plains his insolvency. He had a dwelling house on each 
of the four plantations, and all were burned by the Federal 



troops, after the evacuation of Charleston and the coast 
by the Confederates. The brick house at his home place, 
which you will remember, was occupied for several weeks 
as headquarters by Colonel Beecher (brother to Henry 
Ward Beecher). On leaving he set fire to it and it and 
all its contents were burned to the ground, leaving only 
the chimneys standing, which the earthquake shook down. 
At Kelvin they made a clean sweep, even the negro houses 
were burned, and when I went there in the fall of 1865 
there could not have been found enough plank to make a 
soap box. 

"Thank God, my home life is the best that I could 
wish. Through all, my wife is as contented and cheerful 
as in the early days of our married hfe^when she was sur- 
rounded with every comfort." 




" River and race and game, gay leaping of brook and hedge : 
Perils on happy heights, and pleasure nearest the edge: 
Something we gain as we Hve: but youth has departed." 

— Palgrave. 

I entered Trinity College, Hartford, in September, 
1854, and had been there only a day or two when I made 
the acquaintance of Rhoades Fisher, a tall, gallant-looking 
fellow from Texas with red hair, who asked me to room 
with him at 32 Jarvis Hall. He didn't graduate, and 
after he left at the end of the year I thenceforth roomed 
there alone. Those were primitive days: not a bathroom 
in the whole college, not even water in our building; it all 
had to be brought from the yard. I bought a big wash- 
tub, and a darky, an old fellow named Adams, brought 
up a pail of water every morning and made my fire. He 
was a character, and I became quite attached to him 
during the three years that he ministered to my wants. 
We were obhged to furnish our own rooms, and supply 
our own hghts and fuel, though we had the luxury of a coal- 
closet. Strange to say, in this inland retreat of ours the 
beds were in two berths, hke those at sea, with curtains 
that drew in front of them. We used camphene for our 
lamps; I well remember filhng one, leaving the wick lighted 
while I poured in the camphene, when suddenly it exploded, 
and can, lamp, and all shot across the room, leaving a 
trail of fire behind it and burning a broad swath in the 
carpet. Outside my window hung a canary. This bird 



had appeared on the campus one afternoon after chapel, 
and in a moment the whole college was in full cry after 
him. I didn't make any particular effort to catch him, 
but somehow he flew right into my hand; so I got him a 
cage and cherished him for a long time. One day as he 
was hanging there in the sunshine the string broke, and 
down he fell, three stories, to the pavement, without being 
hurt. That bird had a charmed Hfe. I Hved four years 
in 32 Jarvis HaO, and just before I graduated I carved my 
name and "Phi Kappa Fraternity" on the stone shelf 
outside my window, and looked forward to my return in 
years to come and finding it still there. Alas ! in a few 
years old Jarvis was torn down, when the new college was 
built, and all these old records are gone. 

The old college had been built in 1824 — Washington 
College it was called then, but in my day it had long been 
known as Trinity. Seabury Hall was in the centre, with 
Brownell Hall and Jarvis Hall at the ends; Seabury was a 
classic building, designed by Samuel Morse of telegraph 
fame, with large columns in front, and containing the dor- 
mitories and classrooms. This group of buildings stood 
at the head of College Street, just where the State House 
now stands, overlooking the whole city across a wide ex- 
panse of green lawn, and backed by a lovely wood through 
which a green lane ran down to a picturesque little river 
known as the "Hog." This stream meandered far back 
into the country and we had splendid skating there in 
winter. "Mile after mile," as an old Trinity man said, 
"have I skated on its reaches with the red squirrel follow- 
ing me on the banks." 

During my first two years at college the president was 
Doctor Goodwin, who later became head of the Theological 
Seminary in Philadelphia. He was a scholar but a cold, 



unsympathetic man; he was very handsome, and looked, I 
have always thought, like one of Fra Bartolomeo's prophets. 
We had a year's German with him — we actually read the 
whole of "Faust"— but I don't know a single word of Ger- 
man now. We also, I remember, studied Whewell's ''Ele- 
ments of Morahty" with him (I believe I have the title 
right), and thereby hangs a tale. There was a Jew whose 
name I don't know, but we always called him Amsterdam, a 
dealer in old clothes, cigars, pictures, and all sorts of things. 
He also carried on a brisk little business in money-lending 
— the tightness of the money market often constraining us 
to pawn our watches and any other jewelry we possessed, 
and for the same reason we did not often actually buy his 
wares, but bartered our old clothes for his more interesting 
objets d'art. Of course I — being I — managed to acquire 
a lot of pictures by this means, and as I decorated my 
room in other ways, it was considered one of the show- 
rooms of the college. One of these pictures of mine was 
a colored Hthograph of "Venus Rising from the Sea." It 
was not an improper picture. I thought it would be good 
practice to copy this picture in oil. So one pleasant, quiet 
June morning I was busily engaged in painting, when I 
felt a hand upon my shoulder and, looking up, I saw the 
stern face of Doctor Goodwin gazing in horror at my 
Venus. I don't recall now what he said, but his looks 
were enough. His face bore the expression of one who 
looks down from the sanctuary of Abraham's bosom on a 
soul in perdition, and he gave me a good blowing-up as 
soon as he found his voice. By the irony of fate, that very 
afternoon we had our lesson on Whewell's "Elements of 
Morahty." I was called up and flunked, as I couldn't 
paint and look over my lesson as well, and when it became 
only too clear that I could not recite, Doctor Goodwin 



roared in a voice of thunder: "If you had not been engaged 
in reprehensible pursuits this morning, sir, you would prob- 
ably have known your lesson! Sit down, sir!" I am 
happy to say, however, that I was told by a friend in after 
years that Doctor Goodwin "remembered me with pleasure 
and affection," so perhaps he had forgotten our interview 
about the Venus, or possibly through the mist of years he 
was able to view it more leniently than on that June morn- 
ing long ago. 

I spent all my spare cash at college in hiring saddle- 
horses. There was an excellent thoroughbred mare that I 
liked especially, and on Saturdays we used to make up 
parties and ride out to "Wadsworth's Tower" — afterward 
owned by the Elys — where there is a lake on top of the 
mountain. I remember riding there one Saturday with 
Alexander Preston and some other fellows; I had a new 
gray coat that I had never worn, and when Preston sug- 
gested borrowing it I felt greatly honored, as I was a fresh- 
man and he a senior, and it gave me real pleasure to have 
him ride in it all day, but reflecting on it now it seems a 
poor reason for giving up my brand-new coat. 

Athletics were not much cultivated in those days, but 
we had one of the first boat clubs in any college and had 
two fast race-boats. We had two spirited races with the 
town club of Hartford, winning the first but losing the 
second because we broke a rowlock. I was stroke, 
although the smallest man in the club. In 1858 the Col- 
lege Union Regatta at Worcester was established by Har- 
vard, Yale, Brown, and Trinity. 

Sparring was one of my chief interests in college. 
When I was seventeen I had been taught to box by Ottig- 
non, the owner of the gymnasium in Crosby Street, an 
enormous man over six feet high and weighing two hun- 



dred pounds, but very agile, nevertheless. And now at 
college I took sparring lessons from Charley Brewster, one 
of the best sparrers I have ever seen. I began with him 
in my freshman year and sparred with him all through my 
college course, and he taught me that any ordinary man 
could knock a bigger man down if he knew how to aim 
his blow aright and how to keep his opponent from closing 
with him. I got to be pretty good; in fact, Brewster said 
I was "too good to spar with a gentleman !" 

In my day hazing was rife in all the colleges; somehow 
or other I managed to escape it, but I confess that I joy- 
fully assisted in the hazing of others. In our sophomore 
year we thought it advisable to haze a freshman named 
Short. I don't remember any reason for this except that 
his name and person were so incongruous — instead of being 
short he was extremely long, being about six feet six. The 
affair was arranged in this way. One afternoon, just after 
chapel, we captured Short and rushed him out by the back 
way, where we had a carriage waiting to take him down 
into the town, where we proposed to try him for his alleged 
offenses. The carriage got off all right and drove around 
by way of the station. Where the triumphal arch now 
stands was situated the jail, and next to it was a terraced 
bank about ten feet high, on top of which ran a sidewalk. 
I was on my way down to the trial when I heard shouts of 
rage and saw Short approaching, sprinting hke anything 
and making good time with his long legs. He had escaped 
from the carriage and was being pursued by his captors, 
but they had no chance of catching him, and I saw I was 
the only obstacle between him and sanctuary at the col- 
lege. He thought, of course, that with his great weight 
and height he could run right over me as I stood facing him 
in the middle of the sidewalk, but just as he reached me I 



stepped aside, put out my foot, and sent him rolling head- 
long down the grass to the foot of the terrace. There I 
managed to hold him until the other sophomores arrived 
and secured him. We tried him — on these occasions we 
had regular courts, judge, counsel on both sides, etc. — and 
he was convicted of being too tall, and condemned to drink, 
as he was a temperance man, three glasses of lager-beer. 
Just as the penalty was being enforced his class found out 
where he was, broke down the door, and after a free fight 
rescued him. Short afterward studied for the ministry 
and more than forty years later I met some of his family 
in North Hadley, by whom he sent me affectionate mes- 
sages, so he cherished no animosity. 

A college character was ** Professor Jim," the janitor, 
a fine old darky. He had been born a slave in the family 
of Colonel Philip Rhinelander Robert, of Pomona Hall at 
Yonkers, which afterward belonged to Sidney Morsc^ the 
son of Professor Morse, and he used to tell us tales of 
Aaron Burr, whom he had often seen at the house, and of 
his adventures after he ran away to sea in the War of 1812. 
Finally Jim turned up at Hartford at about the same time 
that Bishop Brownell became the first president of Trinity, 
and soon became one of the bishop's servants. Jim's 
grand crack of the whip, as he wheeled the bishop's gig 
close to the church steps when he drove about the country 
on his visitations, has never been forgotten, nor the ele- 
gance of his manner as he assisted the bishop to alight 
and with a wave of the hand turned him over to the rector 
and wardens in attendance. He was a little man with 
snow-white hair when I knew him, and looked a good deal 
like a monkey, but he had a certain dignity withak 

"Professor Jim" was always popular with the students, 
for if he caught them in a scrape he never told, but at the 



same time he contrived to be loyal to the college. He 
was a feature of Class Day, resplendent in a dress suit 
and high hat, and was always presented with some token 
of affection from the senior class. His speeches in return 
are still remembered. One ran in part as follows: 

"Gentlemen, our communion has been sweet together, 
our words has been soft, and what you knows I knows and 
nobody else knows ! How you worried and studied all 
night after you'd been off, for fear you wouldn't get your 
conditions — how you had to be dragged out from under 
the bed, sometimes, to visit the faculty — how you got along 
nicely till you run against chronics — chronics was hard ! 
Gentlemen, your secrets is mine ! Though you stopped up 
the key-hole with putty and froze up the bell, I got along 
somehow ! You're soon going to leave this splendid can- 
vas — don't forget the high privileges that has been granted 
you here, and the benefit of a Supreme Being you ought 
to appreciate as gentlemen!" 

At our Class Day the class was assembled on the lawn 
in a semicircle in front of Seabury Hall facing the chapel 
steps where the speeches were made. I suppose the 
president sat in Bishop Berkeley's famous chair just as he 
does nowadays, but I don't remember — the chair was not 
such an heirloom then as it is now — neither do I remember 
much about my oration. I was class orator, but I shall 
never forget the splendid peroration of "Professor Jim's'* 

"My dear young friends, we have come to parting and 
you must remember that while you are acfvancing I will 
be c/evancing. You will all be scattered all over the world; 
some of you may go to Asia, some to Africa, some maybe 
to the sandy shores of Arabia, but wherever you go, my dear 
boys, my heart will go with you to any part of the State !" 



In my senior year an astonishing thing happened — I 
was awarded the chemistry prize for the best essay "On 
the Chemical Constitution, Properties, and Uses of Water." 
No one w^as more surprised at my gaining it than \. The 
award was made by Professor Jackson, Doctor Oliver, and 
some other distinguished scientists of Boston, and one of 
them told my friend Prescott that he Hked my essay be- 
cause it was so evidently written by a gentleman — a strange 
consideration in a matter of chemistry ! It has always 
amused me to see my name in the college catalogue among 
the winners of the Sheffield prize. I elected to take my 
twenty-five-dollar prize in books, and my choice of Mrs. 
Jameson's books on ecclesiastical art I have often found 
useful in my profession. There were no schools of art in 
those days in any of the colleges, and I don't think that a 
single one of my fellow collegians could draw a line; so I 
was always selected to do any drawing that was required, 
such as tail-pieces for catalogues, specimens in natural 
philosophy for Professor Brocklcsby, etc. In my senior 
year I got a good deal of fun out of preparing and illustrat- 
ing a catalogue of my fraternity, Phi Kappa, which we 

I fancy every one would have agreed tiiat the most 

promising man in the Class of 'y^ was Elisha T- ; a 

handsome fellow, of good family, with a fme education and 
lots of ability, and quite well off. He and I roomed to- 
gether in New York for a while after leaving college, and 
he was awfully kind to me when I was ill. I remember an 
odd labor-saving habit that he had. On Saturday nights 
he would shave, take a hot bath, put on a clean "boiled 
shirt" with the studs in place; in fact, dress himself com- 
pletely, except for his boots and outer clothing, stretch 
himself flat on his back, and go peacefully to sleep. As he 



was able to sleep without changing his position a particle 
he was all ready for church the next morning. 

Later on he roomed with Joseph H. Choate, who was a 
great friend of his. In fact, it was he who first introduced 
me to Mr. Choate. Then came the Civil War and perhaps 
army life made him restless; anyway, after that he went 
steadily down in the world until at last his friends clubbed 
together and got him into the Old Men's Home on Amster- 
dam Avenue. He and Choate had started life pretty 
evenly equipped; Choate ended his career honored the 

world over and T died at almost the same time in an 

old men's home. I wrote to Mr. Choate when he was 
ambassador in London, asking him to contribute to the 

fund for T , and he sent me fifty dollars, remarking in 

his letter: "I have watched Elisha T 's long but sure 

descent into the gutter with great interest and wonder; as 
he seemed to have no vice it was a perfect mystery !" 

But Mr. Choate put it too strongly. T never got 

as far down as the gutter. He always preserved a neat, 
pleasant appearance, and no one meeting him would have 
thought him other than a gentleman of leisure in good 
circumstances. I really believe the years he spent in the 
Home were the happiest of his life. Luckily he was a 
member of the Phi Kappa Chapter of Alpha Delta Phi, 
and the Fraternity House at Columbia seemed to give him 
everything he needed. He had a fund of anecdote and 
sang good comic songs, and the young fellows grew really 
fond of him. He died not long ago and I was present at 
his funeral, quite an imposing affair, the Episcopal service 
supplemented by certain fraternal ceremonies and attended 
by all the brethren of the Columbia Chapter of Alpha 
Delta Phi. His young friends spoke of him with regret 
and affection. So perhaps his life was not such an utter 
failure, after alL 



This story shows the good side of fraternity life, though 
I can see the disadvantages of college fraternities as they 
were in my time, how they cut you off from intimacies 
outside and fostered cxckisiveness. But we stuck up for 
each other on all occasions; a member of one's fraternity 
could do no wrong; and loyalty through thick and thin is 
a pretty good thing to count on in a friend. 

My fraternity life and all its associations are among my 
dearest recollections. I was a member of Phi Kappa, 
founded in 1835; it was a senior society, i. e., one did not 
wear a pin until senior year, and although boys became 
members from freshman year up, their association with the 
fraternity was kept a profound secret. The friendships 
formed in it were something different from anything I have 
experienced in after Hfe. The rivalry among the various 
fraternities at Trinity was tremendous and the feeh'ng 
intense; so much so that it was considered a deadly- insult 
to even mention the name of a man's fraternity. If this 
custom were trifled with in any way it was apt to be "a 
word and a blow." 

During the Civil War almost all the students of Trinity 
went to the front, and the membership of the Phi Kappa 
was reduced to one man, Hovey, afterward rector of the 
fme old church in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This 
splendid isolation made Hovey feci lonely, so he decided 
to give up the fraternity and turned all the archives over 
to a committee of the old graduates, by whom they were 
burned, and joined a rival local fraternity called the L K. A. 
It looked as if the Phi Kappa were extinct. However, in 
1865, or thereabouts, eight or ten young men left St. 
James's College in MaryLind and came to Trinity — St. 
James's was also an Episcopal college and a very nice class 
of fellows went there. It had long been a sort of custom 
for men from St. James's to go to Trinity, and as many 



of them had become members of Phi Kappa, the fraternity 
was well known there and liked. These men got together 
and decided that it would be a good idea to revive the Phi 
Kappa, so they consulted me and I agreed to go to Trinity 
and initiate them. 

On my way up to Hartford I met Hovey in the train, 
but I did not tell him of my errand. He told me how sorry 
he was to leave the Phi Kappa — how fond he was of it — 
how deeply he regretted that it had become extinct. I 
hstened and made no observations. The boys were in- 
itiated. Next morning when they all appeared with their 
Phi Kappa pins it was a real triumph. Although I never 
spoke of it again to Hovey, I think that he was sorry he 
had been faint-hearted, for thenceforth the fraternity pros- 
pered, and about 1880 it was merged in the Alpha Delta 
Phi, one of the leading fraternities in Trinity and in many 
other colleges. At one time there was a chapter at Harvard 
and Joseph H. Choate was a member. Since his day all 
the secret societies have been abolished there and Alpha 
Delta Phi went with the rest. 

Edward Coleman Jacobs was another of my college 
friends — a nephew by marriage of Bishop H. C. Potter. 
He was a talented fellow, made the Phi Beta Kappa, and 
was reputed the best-dressed man in college. After grad- 
uating at the Harvard Law School he went into the law 
office of Mr. John H. Glover in New York. But the law 
proved too sedate a mistress; he went West, travelled 
among the Indians, and disappeared into space. It was 
supposed that he had been murdered, but nothing was 
ever known; only his clothing was found and his saddle, 
marked with his name. 

Horace C was about my most intimate friend. He 

was the handsomest man in college, very well read, and 



our finest orator for Fourth of July orations and poems. 
He used to help me out with my compositions, and later 
rewrote an article of mine, called "From Rome to Thrasy- 
mene," an illustrated account of a trip I took in Italy in 
1859. At the time we were both vastly pleased with the 
result of his efforts, but I see now that he shrouded my 
facts with such ample classic drapery that whatever local 
color I had managed to get hold of was completely smoth- 

I lost sight of Horace for years. One day I was riding 
with Mr. Choate in Stockbridge when a boy passed us on 
a bicycle, and Mr. Choate happened to remark that it was 

young Horace C , who lived near by. So I jumped off 

my horse and hurried across the road to see my dear old 
friend. When he appeared I greeted him with effusion 
and tried to talk about old times. But he only remarked: 
"I scarcely remember those days, and I take no interest in 
them whatever." So with a shake of his limp hand I took 
my leave. 

William W. Hayes, of Baltimore, was another handsome 
and delightful fellow^ the best scholar in our class. He 
could read an intricate problem in mathematics only once 
and then go to the blackboard and write it down perfectly. 
But he didn't stay long; his mother thought he was in too 
fast a crowd at Trinity because, unhickily, he sent her a 
photograph of his room with a bottle on the table; so he 
finished his course at Kenyon College, Ohio. I met hmi 
once only, several years later, and we had a fine talk about 
old times and the Phi Kappa. He told me he still had 
Phi Kappa painted on his trunk. 

Ned Ferryman, Sidney Hull, and Alexander Preston, 
all from Perrymansville, Maryland, had been friends from 
boyhood and came to Trinity together. Preston was a 




man of ability and became a good lawyer in Baltimore; he 
married Miss Carroll of Maryland. When I have been 
in Baltimore I have usually gone to see him. He kept 
good trotting-horses and took me to drive in the park and 
to lunch with him at the Maryland Club — "the grave of 
reputations," as a friend of mine once called it as we were 
passing. The cooking there is famous and one gets can- 
vasback duck, crab salad, and fried hominy in perfection. 

Then there was "Batt" Barrow, from St. Francisville, 
Louisiana, a fine fellow with a beautiful tenor voice, who 
never did a stroke of work or attended a recitation during 
the time I knew him, so that at the end of his junior year 
he left college. He was a devoted attendant on Miss 
Nellie Marcy, daughter of General Marcy, of the United 
States army; she afterward married General George B. 
McCIellan. The last time I saw her was a few years ago 
at an evening party at Mrs. William Draper's in New York. 
She was still handsome in her old age and, as always, very 
charming. She was at that moment carrying on an appar- 
ently flirtatious conversation with Mr. John Bigelow, at 
that time about ninety years old. Ah well, she was said 
to be engaged to Batt Barrow in 1 856 ! I don't know why 
they did not marry, because he was all that a woman might 
admire in addition to being very rich, but I suppose he 
lost everything in the Civil War and he died shortly after it. 

After Doctor Goodwin our next president, or "Prex," 
as we used to call him, was Doctor Samuel Eliot. I loved 
this man — the finest gentleman, the best scholar, and the 
best Christian that I have ever known. He graduated at 
the head of his class at Harvard, and had a peculiarly 
refined and charming personahty. In his classes he put 
every boy on his honor. We were great friends from his 
first coming to Trinity till the day of his death. I owe a 



great deal to him, to his kindly advice, his example in 
every way; no young man ever had a better friend. 

Professor Brocklesby was our teacher in mathematics 
at Trinity. I became quite a friend of his and used to 
draw for him queer objects, animalcuke and such things. 
He was a most unworldly man and easily embarrassed. 
Although such a learned mathematician, he once got so 
balled up at the grocer's trying to solve the problem of 
seven pounds of sugar at seven cents a pound that he had 
to give it up and leave the result to the grocer. He had a 
humorous turn of mind. In those days some of our South- 
ern boys used to chew tobacco and, I am ashamed to say, 
to spit on the floor. Professor Brocklesby reproved them 
in the memorable words, now the dryest of chestnuts, but 
original with him: "Those who expectorate on this floor 
need not expect-to-rate high in this class." 

Mr. Belden, one of the tutors, was another nice fellow 
who had been at college with my brother Harry. He was 
always kind to me, but on one occasion I was particularly 
grateful to him. It happened in this way: The first two 
years I was at college the bell rang at half past five in the 
morning for recitation at six o'clock; then came chapel at 
seven, with breakfast right after it. Of course in winter 
it was pitch-dark when we started out at six, and as the 
recitation-rooms were very badly lighted we used to take 
our own lights, sometimes a piece of candle with or without 
a candlestick, sometimes a small lamp. Often in wmtcr 
the snow was deep, and as the recitation-room was in 
another building we had to wade in snow up to our knees. 
There was a boy in our class named Sam Johnson — he 
afterward married Mary Verplanck— I think he was a 
relation of Sir William Johnson, so celebrated among the 
Indians in early colonial days. Sam Johnson had been 



captain in Everest's Military School and rather bossed our 
class. He carried a little swagger-stick, and as he was apt 
to use it, he was considered a trifle arrogant; I liked him, 
though — he was a good fellow. In class he sat next to me 
on one of the low pine benches without cushions that were 
our seats. Sam had a bit of candle which he put on the 
floor opposite us, and I roHed up bits of paper and threw 
them at his candle until I put it out. He relighted it and 
remarked that if I did that again he would slap my face, 
whereupon I did it again. He did not slap my face, but 
said he would lick me after school; then there being a dis- 
turbance Mr. Belden caHed us to order. Johnson and his 
friend Strong Vincent went out first and I foHowed. As 
I reached the stone hafl outside I saw Johnson with his coat 
ofi" and Vincent standing by holding his coat and books; 
Johnson squared off and came at me. He was twice my 
size, but he didn't know a thing about boxing, so he did 
not touch me in the whole fight, while I got in two or three 
blows and the blood poured down his face. We closed, 
but I got his head "in chancery," and he was quite helpless 
while I rained blows on him. At this delightful moment 
Mr. Belden rushed out and separated us; but I knew very 
well that he had suspected what was going to happen and 
had wasted a Httle extra time arranging the books on his 
desk. At afl events, he did not come out until the fight 
was practicafly over. That afternoon, skating on the Hog, 
I got lots of congratulations for having ficked Johnson, 
and felt just as pleased with myself as if I had not been 
entirely in the wrong. 




"Pass we the joys and sorrows sailors find. 
Cooped in their winged sea-girt citadel, 
As breezes rise and fall and billows swell, 
Till on some jocund morn — lo, land and all is well." 

— Byron. 

The autumn after I graduated from Trinity College I 
started for Cambridge, intending to enter the Harvard Law- 
School, armed with numerous letters of introduction, 
among them one to Mr. Longfellow and another to Doctor 
Theophilus Parsons, dean of the law school, from Doctor 
Samuel Ehot. On the way I stopped at Hartford to see 
my old friends, but was taken ill there and returned to 
New York, where I was laid up completely, and this caused 
me to change all my plans. This illness had come from a 
sprain, which I got the summer before when Jack and I 
were on our way to New Hamburg to pay a visit to Mr. 
Phihp Van Rensselaer. I chanced to see a snake in the 
road, and in jumping down from our high box wagon to 
kill it I gave my leg a wrench which in the end gave me a 
good deal of trouble; at last I consulted my old friend 
Doctor George Elliot— by this time I was awfully lame— 
and he said I was run down and advised a long sea-voyage. 

So we began to look for a sailing-ship and finally chose 
the bark Celestia, a beautiful little clipper-built craft of 
three hundred tons, with a cargo of grain, bound for Sicily 
via Madeira, whence she was to return with a cargo of 
fruit. Doctor Elliot, a charming fellow familiarly known 



as "handsome George," bandaged me skilfully with what 
he called a "spica bandage," a contrivance of which he was 
very proud, warranted not to come off or loosen until I 
reached Madeira, where I could have it renewed by another 

On a gloomy, cold, windy afternoon in late November, 
Gouv, Jack, and I were rowed out in a small boat to the 
Celestiay which was lying off the Battery. Several weary 
hours, which we had previously spent waiting in a ship- 
chandler's office in Water Street, had added to the sadness 
of our day. My brothers watched me climb up the ship's 
side and waved farewells. 

I found three passengers on board: Mr. James O. Put- 
nam, of Buffalo, a distinguished lawyer, who proved to be 
a well-educated and agreeable man; his friend, another 
lawyer, Mr. Noxon, of Syracuse, and the Reverend Mr. 
Reynolds, a sad, gloomy, Presbyterian minister, who was 
very homesick and took a pessimistic view of life in general. 
He told me several times ''that to die to him would be 
gain." Both he and Mr. Putnam were travelling for their 
health; Mr. Noxon was the only well man among us. This 
did not seem a very cheerful send-off, but after our sea- 
sickness wore off — we were all seasick — I found the party 
pleasant enough. I have forgotten to mention another 
passenger, more cheerful than the others, a small black pig 
from Africa, who was a splendid sailor and trotted briskly 
about the deck, though how he maintained his equilibrium 
on his slippery little hoofs was more than I could under- 
stand. Captain Howes was a regular down-east skipper, 
a Cape Codder, tall, spare, and athletic; his trousers were 
short and he wore habitually a black frock coat, carpet 
slippers, and ribbed woollen stockings; but he was a first- 
class sailor and would stand balancing himself on the deck, 



no matter how rough it was, directing a long Norwegian 
how to steer, ordering him to mind the wheel and keep 
the ship straight: "Keep your weather eye lifted, and 
steer so that you could hit the eye of a mosquito." One 
day he spied this hapless Nor^vegian, who was very un- 
handy, far out on a dipping yard trying to reef a sail and 
not having much success at it. He was leaning far over, 
his person much exposed from behind, quite unaware that 
the captain was watching him with disapproval. Suddenly 
the captain dropped his carpet slippers, tore up the rigging 
like a cat and, without uttering a word of warning, ran along 
the yard and, by way of a gentle reminder, gave the poor 
Norwegian a tremendous kick a posteriori that nearly 
knocked him off into the wildly running sea. 

Our cabin, only about a dozen steps down from the 
deck, was small and square, with our berths around it and 
the captain's room in the corner; in the centre was the 
dining-table, above which the skylight opened on to the 
deck. The sash was generally open, and when a large wave 
came over, which happened several times, we were drenched 
and the dinner well salted. The food was plentiful but 
plain: huge joints of boiled mutton, corned beef and cab- 
bage, etc. The captain presided at the head of the table 
and carved, and, incidentally, picked his teeth with the 
carving-fork. My berth was directly at the bottom of 
the companionway, and at the foot of my bed stood a 
barrel filled with most delicious red-cheeked apples. I 
remember one day, as I crept up on deck feeling pretty 
sick, I met Mr. Putnam holding one of these apples in his 
hand (he was homesick as well as seasick), pensively regard- 
ing it with a longing look and murmuring: "I wish I were 
now where you grew !" It mattered not to him where that 
land might be so long as it was dry. 



It blew a gale all the way across the ocean directly in 
our favor, and although we only had a few of the sails up, 
we ran very fast. The waves were mountain-high, and our 
little ship tossed about like a cork, first trembHng on the 
top of a great wave and then dashing down into a vast 
abyss, where for a moment nothing was to be seen but the 
huge green walls of water around us. For several days 
we made nearly three hundred miles a day, and came in 
sight of Madeira in eighteen days. As there is only an 
open roadstead at Madeira and no real harbor, we could 
not come to anchor; so for nearly five days and nights we 
beat back and forth; again and again we would approach 
the shore so that we could almost talk to the inhabitants, 
and then run out of sight of land. In one of these trips we 
saw a large brig dashed to pieces on the rocks, and saw the 
people on board cast ashore and struggling up the cliffs. 

At last there came a delightful calm, and we landed at 
evening in a haven of peace and beauty. Never did food 
taste so good as at the excellent hotel to which we went. 
The first thing next morning we found our way into a 
lovely garden adjoining the hotel, whose charming walks, 
laid in colored flints in patterns, were strewn with oranges 
and pomegranates, scattered by the late storm. There for 
the first time I saw banana-trees laden with fruit and 
tasted the dehcious custard-apple. Madeira seemed to me 
then the loveliest spot on earth. Partly because it was the 
first foreign place that I had seen, I was afraid when I was 
about to visit it again forty years later that, after seeing 
so many other famous places, I might be disappointed, but 
I found it little changed and as dehghtful as ever. No 
wheeled vehicles are used there, only little sledges drawn 
by diminutive oxen, but they have delightful saddle- 
horses, and I explored the Alpine-Iike tropical mountain 

1 06 


passes, with a "burroquiro," brandishing a horsehair fly- 
brush, who clung to my horse's tail, keeping up, no matter 
how fast I rode, and was ready to hold my stirrup when I 
dismounted. Everywhere were flowers; even the smallest 
garden was filled with color; the beautiful bougainvilica 
over all, heliotropes and geraniums traihng on every wall, 
and all our greenhouse plants growing wild. Altogether 
it is an enchanting place with a most delightful climate, 
without any frost or dew, and with an even winter temper- 
ature night and day of about 70°. 

We were royally entertained by the hospitable residents, 
and as visitors were then rather rare and I brought excel- 
lent letters to Messrs. Newton, Gordon and Cossart, the 
great wine-merchants, we were invited to dine by Mr. 
Cossart. Mr. Marsh, who had been American consul for 
many years, was absent, but his vice-consul entertained 
us in his lovely house, the porch of which was overhung 
by poinsettias in full bloom. At these dinners we learned 
what real Madeira wine was; it is not known there simply 
as "Madeira," but by specific names such as "Sercial," 
"Bual," "Malmsey," etc., and great vintages are desig- 
nated by their special years. When I rode through the 
country the burroquiro knew where to stop and rest, and 
wherever that might be a man always came out filling a 
brimming glass from a pitcher of beautiful amber wine, a 
few milreis satisfying him in return. 

After a delightful visit in Madeira, our vessel having 
discharged her cargo and being well supplied with quan- 
tities of delicious fruit and great bunches of bananas hang- 
ing in the rigging, we sailed away one evening over a calm 
sea for our next stopping-place, Gibraltar. The first night 
out, about three o'clock, when I was fast asleep in my 
berth, I was awakened by loud and prolonged shouting by 



some one in mortal terror. It was the mate at the wheel, 
caHfng to the captain. I heard the captain leap out of his 
berth and rush on deck, then came more excited shouting, 
and then a deafening crash, as if a train of cars going at 
full speed had run off the track and were jolting over the 
ties. It was but a step from my berth to the deck. The 
dawn was only just breaking, but I could see that every- 
thing was crashing down. The masts and rigging of our 
ship were being flung about, and all tangled up with our 
rigging were the spars of a gigantic steamer, towering aloft 
and looking as if she were right on top of us. It proved to 
be the Great Britain, the largest steamer, I believe, then 
afloat. (Her launching some years before had been a 
great event; she was fuH-rigged like a sailing-ship, but had 
all the appliances of a steamer as wefl.) It appeared that 
the steersman on the steamer had been asleep, and waked 
just before the ships came together. Our captain, with 
great presence of mind, cafled out to him to put his wheel 
hard up, at the same moment putting our wheel hard down, 
with the result that the steamer went slightly to the right 
and our vessel to the left, so that she struck us in the bow 
instead of right in the middle, where she would have cut 
us in two and sunk us at once. 

So here we were, all lying perfectly still on a calm, misty 
sea, fastened together ! In a moment the big ship's boats 
were out and I could see them in the dim gray morning light, 
manned with crews resting on their oars, for they thought 
that we were about to sink and were coming to pick us up. 
Already they were calling to us that they were bound for 
Melbourne and were ready to carry us there. (When I first 
ran on deck, when everything was crashing about us and we 
thought we were going down, the only man who showed any 
fear was the Reverend Mr. Reynolds, who seemed not at 

1 08 


all desirous of embracing this opportunity of gratifying his 
pious wish, so often expressed, that "to die would Ix- to 
him gain." He was apparently scared bhie.) There we lay 
until daylight, when the condition of the two sliips could 
be plainly seen. The steamer was but httle damaged, but 
we were in such a state that she waited by us nearly all 
day, until it was found that although dreadfully crippled 
our ship was not injured below the water-line, and seemed 
to be still seaworthy, and would not sink. The steamer 
had struck us about twenty feet back of the bow; so our 
figure-head and the whole of the bow and the bowsprit 
carrying the jibs were gone, the foremast was cut off close 
to the deck, the mainmast almost entirely carried away, 
leaving only a stump large enough to support the mainsail, 
and the top of the mizzenmast with its topsail was gone. 
The men set to work with axes and chopped everything 
free, so that by evening little but our hull remained. When 
all this loose stuff had drifted away we found we had but 
two sails, the mainsail and the slooplike sail on the miz- 
zenmast, and only a part of the hull, as in addition to the 
loss of the entire bow a great piece twenty feet long had 
been torn off one side of the stern. When the debris had 
been cleared away, the captain of the steamer came on 
board and urged us to go to Melbourne with him, but we 
declined, and feeling satisfied that we could take care of 
ourselves, he sailed away and left us to our fate. 

Later on the same day we sighted a fishing-smack that 
came alongside, and after some talk with its captain Mr. 
Putnam arranged with him to take him back to Madeira, 
so he clambered down into the little boat accompanied by 
his baggage, and that was the last we ever saw of him, 
but we learned later that he reached ALadeira safcl> . lie 
begged us to accompany him, but we preferred to stick to 



our ship. On the second day our captain made up his 
mind that his best course was to sail straight for Gibraltar, 
about seven hundred miles distant, and asked us what we 
wanted to do. We told him that we would trust the whole 
matter to him and believed that he could bring us safely 
into port. The sea was perfectly calm, with a gentle fair 
wind following astern, and after only seven delightful days 
we were safely at anchor in the splendid harbor of Gibral- 
tar, where the advent of our strange-looking craft caused 
some amusement. 

Gibraltar was then, as now, a most cosmopolitan place, 
the harbor crowded with wonderful ships from all four 
quarters of the globe, and the streets gay with Arabs in 
coats of many colors. I found the deck of the Celestia 
was a fine place from which to make sketches, and I enjoyed 
the two weeks we spent hving on the ship and visiting the 
sights of the town, before we could find another bark 
bound for Messina, our original destination. She was a 
nice little vessel of three hundred tons, named the Emblem, 
commanded by another down-east skipper. Captain Davis, 
who proved to be a jolly man, witty and hospitable, like 
many of these old-fashioned New England sailors. Like 
the Celestia, the Emblem was bound for Sicily for a load of 
lemons and oranges. 

We were about a week going to Messina, for it blew a 
gale all the way and was awfully rough. We were at sea 
on Christmas Day. Among the few books I had brought 
with me was a volume of Longfellow's poems just pub- 
lished, and I read for the first time "My Lost Youth": 
"The thoughts of youth are long, long thoughts." I also 
had a copy of Murray's guide-book for South Italy, 
and Mr. Noxon used to read parts of it aloud. In the 
accounts of the galleries he always pronounced sarcoph- 



agus with the accent on pha, which sounded so odd that 
I have always remembered it; indeed, it is almost the only 

thing that I recall about him. He and Mr. R remained 

on the ship at Messina while she was waiting for her return 
cargo and went back to New York in her. I stayed at 
the Hotel Trinacria, a fine hotel in an old palace, well 
kept but guiltless of a bathroom, like most of the Italian 
hotels of that day. I visited it again with my daughter 
in 1907 and took tea there, and found it still delightful, 
but when I passed the site after the earthquake in 1908 
not a vestige of it remained. 

At Messina on this first visit I had a letter of introduc- 
tion to Mr. Sanderson, a member of the great house of 
Ingham and Company, the wine-merchants; he was an 
accomplished man, who painted, and played the violin, and 
spoke four or five languages. He was extremely polite and 
took me out to his villa in the country, where after dining 
with his beautiful Italian wife he showed me his charming 
gardens and his groves of oranges and lemons. Mr. 
Ingham, the head of the house, married the Duchess of 
Santa Rosalia, a member of one of the most distinguished 
families in Italy, with splendid palaces in Palermo. I heard 
that when he introduced any one to her he said: "Allow 
me to present you to the Duchess of Santa Rosalia, Mrs. 
Ingham, my wife." The duchess could neither read nor 
write, for like many of the great Italian nobles in that day, 
she had no education whatever. 

While I was at Messina I drove out in a cab to Scylla 
and Charybdis, which seemed not at all a dangerous spot, 
hardly more than a little ripple— perhaps it has gone oil 
since classic times. The beggars there were peculiarly 
offensive. It is at least a two-mile drive from there to 
Messina, but one husky beggar, who was deaf and dumb 



and could only emit inarticulate noises, followed grunting 
behind my cab all the way, and in the end had to be 
rewarded with a tip. 

I went to Naples by steamer at night, lighted on my 
way by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius. The lava was 
pouring out from the side of the mountain, but it was still 
possible to reach the crater, and I determined to go up, 
though I was still lame from my illness and could not walk; 
so I hired two bearers, who carried me in a chair up the 
face of the cone, over the masses of recently discharged 
lava. Standing on the top, we were able to look down 
into the crater. It was a wild scene — "hell with the lid 
taken off" — tremendous clouds of smoke circling around, 
but no fire or lava. The lava-stream from the side, how- 
ever, was flowing down into the plain, overwhelming houses 
and vineyards in its way. My bearers then took me one 
on each side and rushed me down the cone knee-deep in 
ashes, an almost perpendicular descent, until we reached 
the Hermitage, where we had lunch and **Iacrima Cristi" 
wine, which is grown on the slope of the mountain. By 
that time it was growing dark and on our way down we 
passed near an expanse of lava, cool enough to walk over, 
but the subterranean fire here and there glowed through 
it and one seemed to be walking on a lake of fire. We 
amused ourselves by twisting out bits of the still-burning 
lava with sticks and pressing coins into them, some cop- 
per, some silver. In coming down the driver overturned 
the cab and I was thrown out, scattering my coins as I 
fell, and, strange to say, when the man picked them up he 
found only the copper and none of the silver ones ! 

If I were to describe the rest of my travels in 1859 it 
would sound like a page of Baedeker, for I saw all the 
usual sights. Like most young people, I kept a desultory 



diary, and I find there an occasional note that may be of 
some slight interest to-day. In Naples on Sunday the 
church service was held in a room at the British Legation, 
and you had to pay three carhni before going in, buying 
your seat just as you would at the theatre. "The preaching 
was the worst I ever heard and the sermons were always 
about burnt sacrifices." After fifty years we still some- 
times suffer from that kind of sermon. 

The carnival was fine in Florence that year and some of 
the turnouts were magnificent — four horses, with postil- 
ions and outriders and everything in style. The ladies, 
then as now, threw smiles and bouquets right and left, but 
unluckily none of them fell on me. I remember being 
shocked by the shortness of the ladies' dresses ! One im- 
mense van was filled with men wearing lion masks over 
their faces and dressed in the extreme of the English fashion, 
loud checks, tiny straw hats with half-inch brims, and eye- 
glasses, all of them engaged in attentively reading Mur- 
ray's guide-books. This took immensely, as jokes on the 
English were popular in Italy at that time. 

I went by diligence from Florence to Bologna. At Bo 
logna, when I went to some church or other to see some pic- 
tures by Guido — I seem to have had a terrible liking for 
Guido when I was twenty-three! — I saw before the altar a 
splendid coffin containing the remains of the Princess Pepoli, 
sister to Murat, who had died a few days before and was 
lying there in state. Though I don't like Guido nowadays, 
some of my admirations have remained unchanged; I am 
pleased to find that my diary describes the statue of 
Coleoni in Venice as '*the finest equestrian statue I have 
ever seen." I added that he "was the first to use firearms 
in warfare." Is this true, I wonder? It was in \'enicc 
that I caught a glimpse of Taglioni at the post-office. 



My stay in Rome I shall leave for another chapter, and 
only one incident in Paris stands out clearly. I saw the 
Emperor Louis Napoleon and Eugenie driving in a car- 
riage, on the way to his great victories of Solferino and 
Magenta. He was just at the height of his glory. They 
passed close to where I stood; I saw that the empress had 
been crying. 

In London I spent days and days at the National Gal- 
lery, looking up pictures I had known only in engravings. 
My diary indicates that I was irritated at finding the 
Turners hung next to the Claudes. "They stand no com- 
parison with Claude Lorraine, notwithstanding Mr. Ruskin, 
and are so imaginative that one cannot tell what they are 
about." What would I have thought of the "Futurists" 
and "Vorticists" of to-day! At the Vernon Gallery I 
liked the Hogarths, naturally enough, and also the Land- 
seers, but I hope it was as dogs and not as pictures that I 
admired the latter. 

At the Zoo I saw the two hippopotami presented to 
Queen Victoria by the Viceroy of Egypt, and a "lovely col- 
lection of serpents." I went to hear Spurgeon hold forth 
to seven thousand people at the Surrey Music Hall, but 
thought him an unctuous oily "Chadband" kind of a fel- 
low and wondered in what his power lay, though he had a 
strong pair of lungs and the gift of the gab. I thought 
Charles Kean in "Henry V" better worth seeing. And I 
was thrilled by the horses and turnouts in Hyde Park; it 
was the height of the season and one day I saw thirteen 
four-horse drags collected there, driven by various well- 
known men — a club on the way to Greenwich to eat a 
whitebait dinner — and I was surprised that these scions of 
the nobility looked, in their cutaway coats and brass but- 
tons, for all the world like coachmen. 



My greatest day in London and one of the best-remem- 
bered of my whole life was Derby Day. I shall describe it 
rather fully, for some of the details may have changed in 
fifty years. It was the second day of the Epsom meeting 
and was more than usually crowded. I had a splendid 
seat in the grand stand, overlooking the whole field. An 
American lady happened to be sitting next to me, and I 
remember hearing her ask an English lady whether the 
horses ever trotted, having our American trotting-matches 
in mind, and I was amused at the English lady's answer: 
**No, they gallop just as fast as they can." The course 
was of turf, about two miles and a half long, and it was 
cleared by a hundred policemen in an incredibly short 
space of time, though it was covered with people, and, 
w^hat w^as more, it was kept clear. The horses first walked 
past the grand stand and then ran back and took their 
places at the starting-point; people did not seem to take 
much interest in the starting. In front of the grand stand 
was the betting-ring and I saw a man there who had staked 
twelve thousand pounds. In the first race, half a mile, 
there w^ere eleven horses started and it was won by 
Orchehill ridden by Fordham. The second race, about 
two miles, was the "great event," in which thirty-three 
horses were entered and thirty ran; it was won by Musjid, 
ow^ned by Sir Joseph Hawley and ridden by Wells. I 
never saw anything equal to the excitement as the thirty 
horses rushed by. Musjid only won by a short distance 
and there were a dozen close behind. Another race was 
run by three horses and won by Fisherman, ridden also 
by Wells; it must have been a great feather in his cap to 
have won two races on the same day. This was the most 
beautiful race I ever saw, the horses running neck and 



But, on the whole, the horses were not quite as fine as 
I had expected them to be, and I thought that they would 
have made a poor show in one of our four-mile races at 
home. I picked out the winning horse in three out of the 
four races that I saw, and might have won my fortune had 
I bet. 

The racing was splendid, but I enjoyed the excitement 
of the motley crowd even more; lots of ginger-beer stalls, 
boxing-matches, running-matches, nigger minstrels and 
thimbleriggers. West End swells and East End paupers, 
all gathered together. Every available means of trans- 
portation was forced into service — horses that had evidently 
never been in harness before and others that seemed likely 
never to be there again. The city was deserted and all 
the world at Epsom. In the evening I went to the cele- 
brated cider- cellars, where law cases were tried, and heard 
the Sickles case very well argued. To my mind, if ever a 
murderer deserved to be hung it was Sickles. 

I was young enough to envy the Eton boys playing 
cricket out on the meadows and rowing on the river. Their 
race-boats were splendid, finer than anything we had in 
America then, some of them with ten oars, and the rowing 
the finest I had ever seen, although we thought we rowed 
well at home. I walked some distance out into the coun- 
try and met some boys bird's-nesting, others fishing and 
shooting, and all having such a nice time that no wonder 
I wrote in my diary: '' It seems worth while to go to a school 
like that." 

I shall not dwell on my trip to Ireland or my stay in 
the Engfish lake country, for I want to tell you about my 
most delightful visit at Mr. David Maitland's place in Scot- 
land. I have spoken before of my godfather, Mr. Maitland, 
a devoted friend of my father and mother. After making 



a fortune in America he returned to Scotland and bought 
back the old family place, Barcaple, in Kirkcudbrightshire, 
that had gone out of the family. His brother Joseph went 
to Australia and, I beheve, made a huge fortune there in 

I went by the coach to Castle Douglas and found Mr. 
Maitland waiting there for me when I got down; although 
we had not met for several years we recognized each other 
at once. He had not changed very much, his cheeks were 
still flushed with health, and he had the elastic step of a 
young man, as he was accustomed to shooting and fishing 
and could walk his ten miles as well as ever. As always, 
he was very well dressed and the picture of neatness, wear- 
ing a gray morning suit and gaiters, and was addicted to 
the very same enormous standing collars that I remem- 
bered, with a check cravat tied in a bow. 

Barcaple had been a wild half-moorland farm, about a 
thousand acres, which Mr. Maitland had drained and put 
in beautiful order; the house itself was of stone, surrounded 
by lovely lawns, shrubbery, and trees. In the charming 
garden were thousands of rhododendrons and all the new 
shrubs and trees lately introduced from China, and at one 
time there were Cherokee roses from South Canjh'na, 
though he said he had never been able to grow them in 
New York. 

The first thing I saw when I went into the parlor was 
my father's miniature and a Httle drawing of Danskammer 
by Wheatfield. I wonder if the latter is still in existence. 
(Not long before his death Mr. Maitland sent me the 
miniature, and two large silver pitchers that my mother 
had given him; they have stood on my sideboard ever 

Mr. Maitland's dinners were as good as th6y had always 



been in New York, and every evening after family prayers, 
which were attended by all the servants, the butler would 
bring in a silver tray, with Scotch whiskey, sugar, and lem- 
ons for a "night-cap." I was interested in seeing in the 
stables the chestnut mare, Jessie jMorland, now very old, 
sired by Sir Henry and raised by my father at Danskam- 
mer, which Mr. Maitland had taken to Scotland. He told 
me that he had had more than a dozen fine colts from her, 
some of which had been on the turf, and that he kept her 
as a memento of some of the happiest days of his life. 

His game-preserve was magnificent, a great moor, pur- 
ple with heather, through which ran the River Dee. As 
one walked about grouse would rise under one's feet. In 
the month of June when I was there quantities of pheasants 
were setting under the shrubbery in the lawns and gardens, 
so tame that Air. Alaitland could lift them up while they 
were on their nests and examine the eggs. Scattered over 
the moor we saw the graves of the old Covenanters, whose 
names were preserved by "Old Mortality's" faithful chisel. 

"Gray, recumbent tombs of the dead in desert places; 
Standing stones on the vacant wine-red moor, 
Hills of sheep and homes of the silent vanished races 
And winds austere and pure." 

The scene of "Guy Mannering," also, was laid near 
Barcaple, in the ocean caves. I saw Campbell's beech- 
tree — "Woodman, spare that tree" — still standing in the 
garden of one of Mr. Maitland's friends, Mr. "Watty" 
McCuIIough, and another day we went to Lord Selkirk's 
place, St. Mary's Isle, and took afternoon tea with the 
family. They showed us the silver on the table, which 
was the same tea-set that John Paul Jones had stolen on 
one of his raids; his father had been a gardener on the 



Selkirks' place. Lady Selkirk said that the tea-leaves were 
still in the teapot when he returned it, as it had been 
picked up from the table when they were at tea. (Perhaps 
I ought not to speak of it as stealing, for he did return it !) 

On Sunday we went to the Established Church. The 
kirk had a two-story pulpit, in the upper part of which the 
minister held forth, while in the lower the precentor was 
stationed with a tuning-fork and set the tunes for the 
hymns and psalms. They had a canny arrangement for 
saving time. After the morning service and sermon were 
over, we had a recess and went out into the graveyard to 
eat our lunches, which we had brought with us; then we 
went back into the church and had another service and 
sermon, in this way saving a long drive. But it was a 
pretty wearisome performance. 

One Sunday morning in Scotland I was sketching, sit- 
ting out in a field by myself some distance from the high- 
way, when a party of men on their way to church happened 
to pass along the road. They stopped and watched me for 
some time; then an oldish man climbed laboriously over 
the fence and, crossing the field to me, said: "Young man, 
do you know that you are breaking the Sabbath?" I said: 
''What business is it of yours?" He said: "It's my busi- 
ness to warn you of the error of your ways." I answered 
ungratefully that he would probably celebrate the Sabbath 
by getting drunk, and after looking at me a moment in 
sour silence he went back to his friends. 

Mr. Maitland took me to Caley, one of the most 
beautiful places in ScotLind, belonging to Murray Stewart, 
but I enjoyed most of all my visits to Stewart Maitland, 
my godfather's nephew, who lived near by. Mrs. Stewart 
Maitland was an American, a Miss Lynch from New ^'ork, 
daughter of Dominick Lynch, and an intimate friend of 



my mother, who was godmother to one of the girls. Their 
house was modern, but there was an old ruin on the place, 
Compstone Castle, after which it was named. They were 
all so hospitable that I spent day after day at their house 
with their large family of children, and had the time of my 
life. We went on delightful picnics, often to bathe in the 
sea at a place called Burn-foot. I remember I carried little 
David into the sea in my arms. He was a baby then, but 
afterward he was head of the family, and now, if he is still 
living, he must be a gray-haired man and, alas ! all those 
other dear people have long been in their graves. But it 
was a happy time to remember and it warms my old heart 
to recall it. 

It was not the shooting-season, but we had splendid 
walks over the moor, the heather elastic under one's foot. 
There was fme salmon-fishing in the Dee, but it was not 
the season for that either, for the dry weather had sent all 
the salmon to the sea; however, there were certain things 
that could be killed out of season and Mr. Maitland had a 
gamekeeper who kept ferrets. So he gave me a gun and 
I used to walk all over the place with the gamekeeper. 
He would put one of the ferrets into a rabbit-burrow and 
presently a rabbit would come kiting out and I would 
shoot it — ferrets are trained not to attack and eat the rab- 
bits, but only to drive them out of their holes. In a strip 
of marshy ground we killed several ducks and in an orchard 
grown up with fern a great hare started up. I remember 
how long his legs looked as I shot him; he was an enormous 
one, the first I had ever seen. We took him home and 
the next day he was served up in hare soup. 

Dundrennon Abbey, a magnificent old ruin, belongs to 
the Alaitlands, and there all of the family are buried. My 
godfather showed me the spot where he was to be buried, 



and doubtless he now lies there— that line old man with his 
leonine head, snow-white hair, and ruddy face. Dundren- 
non was the last house where Mary Queen of Scots stayed 
on that sad journey to England whence she never returned. 

While I was at Mr. Maitland's I went to Kirtleton, 
my grandfather's old country place in Dumfriesshire. You 
will remember that Colonel Armstrong was a Scotchman. 
He was a direct descendant of the much-sung Border chief- 
tain Johnnie Armstrong, executed by James V of Scotland 
when he undertook to pacify the realm. It was not alto- 
gether surprising that he should have begun with my ances- 
tors — the old chronicle says: "The Armestrongges of Lid- 
dersdaill had repoorted presumptuously that thay woodc 
not be ordoured, naither by the king of Scottes thair sov- 
eraine lorde nor by the king of England, but after suche 
maner as thaire faders had used afore thayme." More- 
over, **the said Armestrongges had avaunted thaymselves 
to be the destruction of twoe and fifty parisshe churches 
in Scotteland, beside the unlawful and ungracious attemp- 
tates by thaym committed withynne Einglande." 

So Johnnie and all his men were captured — although he 
was "als guid ane chiftaine as evir was upoun the borderis 
and sustained the number of XXIIII weill-horsed gentilmen 
with him" — and safely hanged on growing trees on the 
little sandy plateau at Caerlanrig, where no trees grow 
to-day — the ballads say that it was because of the un- 
just sentence that the trees withered away. Johnnie's old 
ruined tower of Gilnockie still stands on the Tweed near 
Canobie. I made a little drawing of it. I also made a 
sketch of Kirtleton, when I went there one day to sec 
what the old place was like. It belonged at that time to 
the Honorable Mrs. Murray, but when my brother Gouv 
went there in 1871 he found it rented to a farmer named 



Franklin and no longer kept up as a gentleman's place, 
though the farm was in fine order. Mrs. Franklin was very 
pleased to see Gouv and gave him a glass of wine. An old 
sheep-dog greeted him in a friendly way and she remarked 
that he did not usually speak to strangers, but was wise 
enough to know that Gouv had a right there. 

I met a Doctor Carlisle while I was in Scotland, who 
lived near Kirtleton and was able to tell me lots of 
anecdotes about my family, especially a festive old party 
called "Ned of the Heuck," my grandfather's brother and 
sheriff of the county. He was once at dinner with his 
friends when it was announced that the house had taken 
fire, whereupon he said to his guests: "Let's have another 
drink, and then go and put out the fire !" 

When I left Barcaple Mr. Maitland blew me off to 
a trip to Edinburgh. He wouldn't let me pay for a single 
thing, and when I protested he said: "Just think how many 
times your horses have been to Newburgh for me!" We 
travelled by stage-coach on top, and Stewart Maitland 
went with us. On the way we passed Glenae House, a 
fine place on a hill surrounded by beautiful w^oods, belong- 
ing to the Dalzells, which Mr. Maitland pointed out to 
me because my grandfather's sister, Anne Armstrong, had 
married Robert Dalzell. While we were in Edinburgh we 
dined with Mr. Maitland's brother, who had the title of 
Lord Barcaple, given him when he was solicitor-general of 
Scotland; another brother had received the title of Lord 
Dundrennon after the abbey that belonged to them, but 
neither title was hereditary. The Maitlands are a dis- 
tinguished family; the Earl of Lauderdale is head of the 
house, and Admiral Maitland, who carried Napoleon to 
exile in St. Helena, was an uncle of my Mr. Maitland. 



Of course I went to Melrose, and while lunching at the 
inn I met a Mr. Pringle who lived at Galashiels, an elderly 
gentleman who seemed to take a fancy to me and asked 
me to go home with him and spend the night. I accepted 
his invitation and we arrived at his house in time for dinner, 
and afterward we went out in the long Scottish twilight 
to a club that he belonged to, where they had a bowling- 
green, and there on a closely clipped lawn I played my 
first and last game of bowls with several of his elderly 
friends. They were interested in me, a young American, 
and were most kind and hospitable. Later in the evening 
we all assembled at Mr. Pringle's house, where we gossiped 
and drank hot whiskey punch and talked about Bobby 
Burns. Next morning at breakfast I noticed the haivd- 
some silver on the table and said jokingly to my host: 
"You ought not to ask strangers like myself to your house, 
you might lose your spoons !" We were sitting at a round 
table, he, his maiden sister, and myself, and at this remark 
I felt him kick me under the table; evidently he did not 
want his sister to know that I was a perfect stranger. The 
Scotch are exceedingly hospitable and I think particularly 
so to Americans. 

After bidding good-by to Mr. Maitland at Edinburgh 
I took a fine walking trip through the Rob Roy country, 
stopping at Strath Ire, whence the MacGregors sent out 
the fiery cross to rouse the clans, and where I made a 
sketch of Rob Roy's grave and an old ruined cottage near 
by. I made the acquaintance of an artist sketching at 
Loch Vail, and took a walk with him, finding him a pleas- 
ant fellow from whom I was sorry to part. I learned 
afterward that he was Noel Paton, a well-known Edm- 
burgh painter. I remember writing to my brother that 



Paton got three or four hundred pounds for his pictures. 
I fancy I was already hoping to persuade my family that 
an artist's career was not always a disastrous one. 

My walk took several days. The twilights were so 
long that I could read my guide-book easily at half past 
nine o'clock, and in the evening I would stop at some 
quaint little inn, where sometimes I got delicious broiled 
salmon-steaks for supper, and sometimes oat-cake and 
whiskey and nothing else whatever. I finished my Scottish 
experiences with a trip to the Pass of Glencoe. I am told 
that this sad valley is unchanged after the passing of fifty 




"This Is the end of town I love the best. 
O, lovely the hour of light from the burning west — 
Of light that lingers and fades from the shadowy square." 

— Gilder. 

I heard to-day, 1917, that old Delmonico's, on the cor- 
ner of Broad and Beaver Streets, was closed; It moved there, 
I think, in 1846, and I do not remember the time when it 
was not open and flourishing. It is sad that Delmonico's 
and Florian's in Venice should both be closing on account 
of the war. This place of Delmonico's had a flavor of 
Italy about it because of the marble columns at the corner, 
which had been brought, it was said, from Pompeii. I 
beheve the original Delmonico brothers had a pastry-shop 
in William Street in 1828, where the '* female members of the 
family dispensed bonbons, pates and confections," but of 
the branches in my remembrance the one at Broad and 
Beaver Streets is the father. They had a "quick-lunch" 
counter with a fascinating array of tarts, eclairs, and rum- 
cakes, and it was my favorite lunching-place for years. It 
was at this Beaver Street place that I took kmch with my 
dear Gouv the day before I entered college and had such 
good apple fritters; we had a table on the Beaver Street side. 

There used to be a branch in the Stevens House on 
Broadway near Rector Street; later they had a place in 
the Grinnells' old house on the corner of Fourteenth Street 
and Fifth Avenue, where they had a fine ballroom, and it 
was here that a famous ball was given — the "Morris and 



HoIIins Ball." I remember going to an entertainment 
there when a collection of pictures was raffled for the 
benefit of the Sanitary Fair in 1864. All the artists con- 
tributed, among others Oliver Stone, who gave a sketch 
he had made of Miss Helen Neilson, afterward my wife. 
Mrs. Lewis Rutherfurd knew a great many of the artists, 
and when she asked Stone if he would make a sketch for 
the fair, he said he would if Miss Helen Neilson would sit 
for him. Mrs. Rutherfurd was the mother of Stuyvesant 
Rutherfurd, who changed his name to Rutherfurd Stuy- 
vesant when he became Mr. Peter G. Stuyvesant's heir. 
He got a third of "Uncle Peter's" estate, which included 
the Bowery farm of old Governor Stuyvesant; Hamilton 
Fish got another third, and the rest was divided among 
the other nephews and nieces. Most of this property was 
on Second Avenue, and I have heard that if "Uncle Peter" 
had been wiHing to part with some of his real estate. Second 
Avenue, at one time a fashionable street, might have been 
the main avenue of the city instead of Fifth. Stone's pic- 
ture was won in the raffle by Mr. Walters, of Baltimore. 
I have often wondered what became of this little portrait 
of my wife. The Sanitary Fair, which was given to raise 
money for war relief in the Civil War, was held in Union 
Square and was a tremendous affair for those days. 

It was, I think, in the Chambers Street building, before 
Delmonico went there, that a murder was committed that 
made a vast stir at the time, partly because the murderer, 
Colt, was a member of a well-known family. An "oblong 
box" — as it was called by the newspapers until the term 
became a household word — being shipped from New York 
to New Orleans attracted suspicion because of its odor, and 
was found to contain a dead body. Colt, whose office was 
next to that of the murdered man, having been seen through 



a keyhole wiping blood off the floor, was convicted and im- 
prisoned in the Tombs. But the prison took fire, and though 
a charred body was found in the cell occupied by Colt, it 
was suggested that this had been substituted for that of 
Colt and that he had escaped, but it was never proved. 
Judge William Kent was the presiding judge at the trial, 
and I believe that when the skull of the murdered man was 
brought into court, Judge Kent was so horrified that he 
resigned his position, dreading a hke experience again. I 
am writing all this after the lapse of so many years that 
the details may not be quite correct. 

Another cause celehre, so to speak, in society, was the 
murder in 1850 of Doctor Parkman by Professor Webster, 
both belonging to excellent Boston famihes. My wife and 
I were once at a dinner in Rome when this murder was 
mentioned, and it was found that two of the guests, Mrs. 
Van Schaick and Arthur Dexter, were relations, the one of 
Parkman, the other of Webster. Webster, who was pro- 
fessor of chemistry at Harvard, killed Parkman in the col- 
lege laboratory, because he got tired of being dunned by 
him for some money he had lent him. "He called me a 
scoundrel and a liar, and went on heaping on me the most 
bitter taunts and most opprobrious epithets." He killed 
him with a stick of wood, cut up his body, and succeeded 
in burning most of the remains in the laboratory, except 
the teeth. I remember a detail almost too disgusting to 
repeat — the janitor of the college was an important wit- 
ness, because he had discovered blood-stains on Webster's 
floor by industriously tasting all the likely spots he could 
find in the building ! 

An interesting letter describing the trial, from Bishop 
Eastburn to John Neilson, my wife's father, shows the 
intense feeling at the time. 



"When at last the tidings came," he writes, ''that he 
was to die upon the gallows, it quite overcame me. Noth- 
ing that we know of in the annals of crime exceeds it, con- 
sidering all the circumstances. Being favored by the offi- 
cers with one of the best places I have attended the trial 
through as great a portion of it as my duties would allow. 
It was an awful scene, witnessed by a dense and excited 
crowd of the most distinguished persons of all professions. 
Webster preserved through the whole a calmness which 
was anything but favorable to him, and when the Chief 
Justice asked him if he had anything to say before he 
delivered his charge he made a few remarks which affected 
everybody with the most perfect conviction of his guilt. 
He was hard, cold, vapid, empty; and his profession of 
confidence *in his innocence and in his God' only strength- 
ened the evidence which the trial had brought out against 
him. It was an awful spectacle. 

"What a singular event in the course of Providence 
that the very teeth which Dr. Parkman had had made in 
order that he might be present at the opening of the Medi- 
cal College, for which he gave the ground, should convict 
his murderer. The utter feebleness of acquisition without 
principle was very eloquently put by the Attorney General 
and illustrated by reference to Eugene Aram and Dr. 

Doctor Eastburn, Bishop of Massachusetts, was the 
leader of the "Low Church" party; they say that when 
Upjohn, the architect, built the Church of the Ascension 
in New York he wanted a chancel such as is usually seen 
in Gothic churches, but Doctor Eastburn, at that time 
the rector, insisted on its being shallow, so that there 
"would be no room for High Church doings." 

Bishop Eastburn, in another letter from Boston, speaks 



of seeing Thackeray when he was in this country in 1852. 
"I had last Sunday a distant view of the distingue Mr. 
Thackeray in Trinity Church. He is a rough, blufl-Iooking 
man. The other evening at the Mclodian Mr. James, the 
novelist, delivered a eulogy on the Duke of Wellington; 
he made a most prodigious failure. There were 1500 
present." A little later he writes: **We have had a nice 
treat in Mr. Thackeray's lectures. His pathos is fully 
equal to his humor, and his elocution so perfect — being 
English ! Our young lads and soi-disant orators, who 'saw 
the air with their hands' may learn from him that elo- 
quence is not in paws and elbows but in the intonations 
of the voice. His recitation of Addison's 'Soon as the 
evening shades prevail' was charming." 

Dickens made a great sensation when he came to 
America in 1867. Of course, like everybody else, I went 
to hear him read, but I do not remember being particularly 
impressed; he did not read well and was rather common 
looking. When he made his first visit here in 1842 I was 
too small to remember him, but there is an amusing para- 
graph in an old letter of my Aunt Margaret Salter's to the 

"I heard from George Elliot that Foster went to the 
Boz Ball and was delighted. There were 3000 persons 
there. He says it was the chief topic of conversation 
everywhere beforehand and the result quite fulfilled their 
expectations. It was repeated the next evening. When 
Boz and his wife entered people filed off each side and let 
him walk up the middle of the room. They say that 
28,000 stewed oysters were eaten that evening, and 10,000 
pickled, 4000 kisses, 6000 mottoes, and 50 hams and 50 
tongues. I am afraid at this rate oysters will become 
scarce !" 



A little later she writes: "The Boz mania seems to be 
subsiding in New York. He has been quite sick and has 
refused all public entertainments in Philadelphia — he says 
he wants to shake hands with the Americans in their 
homes. The poor man must be tired shaking hands and 
going to balls and parties." 

I remember well an old New York character, Captain 
Labouche, famous for his great age. He used to go regu- 
larly to the Church of the Ascension, and as he was deaf 
he had a chair placed for him at the head of the aisle and 
made his responses in a very loud, squeaky voice. He had 
been a soldier of Napoleon. When he reached his hun- 
dredth year some of his friends subscribed to a fund to give 
him a yearly income, thinking, of course, that it would 
not be for very long, but he lasted ten years more. Strange 
to say, he was addicted to the use of opium and had grad- 
ually increased his dose of laudanum until he was able to 
take half a tumblerful; at a dinner given in his honor, when 
they drank his health, he responded in his favorite beverage. 

This old gentleman, however, was a youngster com- 
pared to an ancient inhabitant of Fishkill, Engelburt HofF, 
a Norwegian, a tenant of the Verplancks, whose age is 
vouched for by the most reputable authorities. He lived 
to be one hundred and twenty-eight. The Gentleman s 
Magazine of London mentions his death and age at Fishkill, 
in 1765, and adds that he had been one of the Life Guards 
of William OL He distinctly remembered hearing of the 
news of the execution of Charles I when he was ploughing 
a field in Norway. 

There used to be an old Frenchman about Marlborough, 
not so very long ago, who was called "Waterloo Frank'* 
for the odd reason that he had been born on the retreat 
from Moscow. 



A tragedy of the time I am recalling, about 1858, was 
the death of Lawrence Waterbury's little daughter Kitty, 
a child of thirteen, who was a great friend of I lelen Neil- 
son's. Mr. Robert Roosevelt, the President's uncle, came 
one day to the Waterbury place on the Sound to invite 
the family to go out for a sail, but finding them all gone 
to a fair he took with him Kitty and her governess, I think 
named Miss Cherrytree. It got rather rough and his two 
guests W'Cnt down in the cabin; suddenly a squall struck 
the little boat and she went over. Being on deck, Mr. 
Roosevelt and his man were saved, but the two in the 
cabin were lost, for the door was fast closed by a wave. 

About i860 Mr. Daniel Le Roy built a house in West 
Twenty-third Street near Fifth Avenue, and at the same 
time Mrs. Neilson, my wife's mother, bought a lot from 
Stuyvesant Rutherfurd, 237 East Seventeenth Street, on 
Stuyvesant Square, and built a house that cost over fifty 
thousand dollars. Mr. Le Roy's house was smaller and 
not nearly so fine as the Neilsons', but about 1870 he sold 
his house for two hundred and fifty thousand dollars and 
the Neilsons' house was sold for forty-seven thousand five 
hundred — another instance of the changes in values of 
New York real estate. Mrs. Daniel Le Roy was my wife's 
aunt, a charming and extremely dignified old kidy, but I 
believe in her youth she had been exceedingly sentimental. 
They say that when she was a young girl she once made 
some currant jelly, and being in a pensive mood she wrote 
on the labels of the jars, "this was made by poor Susan," 
as she felt sure she was doomed to an early death. As a 
matter of fact, she lived to a fine old age. 

Mr. Hamilton Fish, my wife's uncle, remembered many 
interesting things about New York, and when I went to 
see him, as I often did, in his house on Stuyvesant Square, 



on the corner of Seventeenth Street and Second Avenue, 
I liked to get him talking about those old times. I once 
told him that he ought to get some good writer to come 
and talk to him, so that his reminiscences might be pre- 
served, and he said he had often thought of doing so, but 
unluckily he never did. 

Mr. Fish went to a school kept by Mr. Bancel, and an 
excellent school he said it was. Mr. Bancel was a kind man 
who sometimes played marbles with him and the other 
boys. In his old age Mr. Fish still seemed really flattered 
and pleased at the honor that Mr. Bancel had done him 
in playing marbles with him. 

Mrs. Fish's sister, Mrs. Griffin, was also a most agree- 
able person to talk to about old times. She was an efficient 
member of the Sanitary Commission in the Civil War, 
which was the Red Cross of that day, and when young 
was considered quite advanced in her views; she was ac- 
tually a friend of Doctor Elizabeth Blackwell and her sister 
Emily, the first women doctors in this country, and was once 
reproved by a member of her family for allowing her step- 
daughter, Mary Griffin, to wait in the carriage outside 
their house while she went in to call — *'a young lady should 
not even have been seen outside the house of such persons !" 
Nevertheless, in her old age Mrs. Griffin was an anti- 
suffragist and abhorred telephones. (I have always been 
a little impatient with people who think that women ought 
not to vote.) 

The Honorable Charles Sumner was once staying at 
the Fishs' house at Garrisons when I was there; he was 
an old friend of the family and a tremendous talker, ac- 
customed to holding forth at great length and having every 
one hsten with deference and in silence — though Mr. Fish 
was a good talker himself. We were at dinner, and Mr. 



Sumner began telling us all the details of Lincoln's death, 
at which he had been present, relating it circumstantially 
and impressively. Gradually he worked up to the most 
dramatic point in his story — when Mrs. Lincoln threw 
her arms around her husband and cried in heart-rending 
tones, "Live, ah live! — Live, ah live!" It was in the eve- 
ning and the lamps were lighted on the table and the win- 
dows were open — we were all listening in breathless silence, 
a silence interrupted by a piercing shriek from Edith Fish 
— she had found a June bug entangled in her hair, and Mr. 
Sumner's dramatic climax was completely spoiled, much 
to his disgust. 

One of the best mayors New York ever had, Mr. Smith 
Ely, was an old friend of Mr. Fish's. He was intelligent 
and agreeable, and I have had many interesting talks with 
him at the Century Club. He told me he had known Mr. 
Fish for many years, ever since the time that he was a young 
man in Mr. de Peyster's law office, and had always so ad- 
mired him that although a Democrat himself he always 
voted for Mr. Fish whenever he ran for office. Mr. Ely 
was a very rich man, but he once told me that he never 
kept any accounts except his check-book. He was a bache- 
lor and lived not far from the Century Club, and every 
day after his dinner he would stop at a little ice-cream 
saloon in Sixth Avenue for his dessert of ice-cream. 

Mr. Ely told me an interesting anecdote about Daniel 
Webster. A well-known man gave an evening reception 
for him; the many distinguished guests all assembled, an 
hour or so went by, but still Mr. Webster did not arrive. 
After an uneasy interval, a servant whispered to the host 
that some one wished to see him at the door; he went out 
and found Mr. Webster in a carriage with several other 
gentlemen; he had been dining and was then so much over- 


come that he was unable to speak, in fact, he was quite 
insensible. A gentleman who knew him well, suggested 
that if a tumbler of raw brandy and cracked ice were ad- 
ministered to him he would soon be all right. Sure enough, 
as soon as he began to "suck on it," as Mr. Ely expressed 
it, he began to revive and by the time he had drunk the 
whole glass he was quite himself and went into the house. 
All the guests were presented to him and he appeared to 
be his usual self, and the whole affair passed off without 
further difficulty. 

When Daniel Webster visited England, the English 
were much impressed by him. Some great man said of 
him, "that every word he uttered weighed a pound," and 
another that he "looked like a cathedraL" My brother 
Gouv once heard him speak at Poughkeepsie, and was tre- 
mendously struck by his splendid address. But he knew 
just when to use his powers of oratory. I have heard that 
he was once engaged in a very important case, with eminent 
counsel opposed to him — it may have been Rufus Choate 
— the question was in regard to a patent on some car-wheels, 
and the wheels were brought into court. The counsel on 
the other side made a long and eloquent speech, explain- 
ing the whole case thoroughly and ending with an impas- 
sioned appeal. When Webster got up he merely pointed 
to the wheels and said in his grandest manner, "Gentle- 
men of the jury, there are the wheels!" and without an- 
other word sat down. He won the case. 

I can remember Mrs. Daniel Webster well. She was 
an aunt of the Robert Morris girls, and I used to see her 
at their house, where she was always known as "Aunt Web- 
ster." She was also an aunt of Mrs. Newbold Edgar, who 
was a Miss Appleton of Boston. This Mrs. Edgar was a 
handsome woman and very attractive, and was at the Mor- 



rises* a great deal. "Aunt Webster" was a tall, stern old 
lady — she was then a widow — the kind with whom one 
never felt quite at ease, but she was polite to me and once 
asked me to a dinner party. 

A w^II-known figure on Broadway about i860 was Walt 
Whitman. I often used to see him, generally on the west 
side of Broadway near City Hall Park. He was a great 
walker, a large shaggy man, wearing a loose shirt open in 
front wath no cravat, showing his hairy breast. He would 
stop often at the corners and gaze at the sky. At this time 
nearly every young lady in New York wore a bright-blue 
silk dress, of the shade called mazarine, a scarlet camePs- 
hair shawl, and a white bonnet; it was really absurd to 
look about a church and sec dozens of girls all dressed ahkc. 
Of course, all wore hoops. This was also the era of the 
horrid little green caterpillars we called "measuring 
worms," dangling on webs from the trees, so that it was 
impossible to walk along the street without having them 
drop all over one. Many of the trees in New York were 
cut down at this time in an attempt to get rid of the pest, 
and the disagreeable little Enghsh sparrow was imported 
for the express purpose of eating up the worms. The 
remedy was worse than the disease. 

In those days the place to get good chocolate was at 
Effray's on Broadway and Ninth Street. It must have been 
about 1880 that Huyler opened a little shop on Broadway 
near Seventeenth Street, where at first they only sold pLiin 
candy, such as toffee and butter-scotch; they had a liberal 
way of keeping the candy uncovered on the counter (cus- 
tomers were expected to munch a little while waiting for 
their packages), which was most attractive to the young. It 
was a good advertisement and there was much lamentation 
when the custom after some years was given up. In 1880 



Dean was just across the street from this place of Huyler's; 
they had in their window a "make-beheve" mould of wine 
jelly made of amber glass, much admired by my children. 
I think that at first it was displayed in the window of their 
new place on Fifth Avenue, but I have not seen it there 
for some time. The wedding-cake when I was married 
was made by Dean, and for old times' sake we ordered some 
cake from there when my wife and I celebrated our Golden 
Wedding Day in 191 6. 

I well remember the excitement over the prize-fight 
between Yankee Sulhvan and Tom Hyer, though I did 
not see it myself. Sullivan was a celebrated English prize- 
fighter, and came to America with a great reputation. Hyer 
was a native of Newburgh, a young and somewhat inex- 
perienced man, but known to possess fighting abifity. The 
betting among sporting men was very heavy and the ex- 
citement and interest throughout the whole country was 
intense. They had great difficulty in selecting the ground, 
for then as now it was against the law, and the pohce were 
following them around determined to stop it. However, 
they finally outwitted the police and the fight took place. 
Hyer immediately outclassed his opponent and won easily. 
A friend of mine, Mr. Marrin, attended the battle, and he 
told me that each time that Hyer struck SuHivan the blood 
flew out in a spray all over the prize-ring. 

I saw the Prince of Wales when he arrived in New York 
in i860. I was stationed in a window up-stairs in Broad- 
way just below Fulton Street. He was a sfight, pretty, 
boyish figure. The next time I saw him, he was driving with 
the Princess of Wales at the Ascot races in 1869, and I often 
saw him in Paris in 1878, an elderly fine-looking man, al- 
ways wearing the decoration of the Legion of Honor when 
he was in Paris. 

In the winter of 1863, I was boarding in Thirty-third 



Street near Fifth Avenue, when I was taken very ill with 
pleurisy and a touch of pneumonia. As soon as the Robert 
Morris family heard of my illness they insisted upon my 
going to their house, on the northwest corner of Thirteentli 
Street and University Place — the house is still there but 
fallen from its high estate. I was invited to stay as long 
as I liked, in fact, until I was well. I had grown very inti- 
mate with the Morrises and felt at home there, so I ac- 
cepted their generous invitation with alacrity. The family 
consisted of Mr. Robert Morris, one of the sweetest-tem- 
pered men I have ever known, his son Edgar, and three 
daughters, Kate, Cornelia, and Nellie. Kate had just been 
married to Henry Delafield Phelps, a college friend of mine 
at Trinity. 

They were all heavenly kind; no one could have been 
sweeter or more devoted than they were to me. I went 
right to bed as soon as I arrived, and lay there for many 
weeks. I had a small room on the third floor looking out 
on Thirteenth Street; the wall-paper had a fixed pattern 
on it and I remember how I used to count those spots, lying 
in bed, across and back again over and over, until I was 
too weak to do it any more. When I got better I would 
look out of the window into Thirteenth Street and watch 
the careless passers-by and wonder if I should ever again 
like them walk the streets a well man. But there were 
also very pleasant hours. Not only were the Morrises so 
good to me, but other friends were kind and sent mc all 
sorts of good things and flowers, so that I can look back 
on those weeks of illness with real pleasure. I often look 
up as I pass through East Thirteenth Street, and I can 
still see the window of my little room where I wiis so ill, 
but, through the friendship and kindness of those dear peo- 
ple, so happy. Alas, all of them are gone now ! 

University Place was then a handsome street, mostly 



occupied by fine private houses all the way down to Wash- 
ington Square. Mr. James de Peyster lived on the same 
block with the Morrises; Mr. WiHiam H. Aspinwall had a 
handsome house and gallery of paintings of the old mas- 
ters on the corner of Tenth Street; Mr. James Brown was 
on the corner of Eleventh Street; James Renwick, the archi- 
tect of Grace Church, lived there, and so did the Emmets; 
lower down were the New York University and the Union 
Theological Seminary. Gus Schermerhorn's house, next 
to the Society Library, is almost the only one left there 

The Goelet house on the corner of Broadway and Nine- 
teenth Street was swept away only a few years ago; there 
are many people who remember the brown house, very 
dreary-looking in its latter days, standing back from the 
street in a neglected garden, where pheasants were some- 
times to be seen, and often a cow trying to get a little 
pleasure out of the dusty grass. 

Doctor George Elliot, my doctor, was a delightful fellow 
and charming companion; I think I owe my life to him, 
for he was one of the then new school and treated me with 
great skill. He used to stay with us at Danskammer, and 
I remember that we always gave him one of the two rooms 
on either side of the front door, for the windows had black- 
walnut shutters on the inside, and he liked to close them 
at night to keep out the sound of the crowing cocks. The 
father of George and Daniel Giraud Elliot was a member 
of the firm of Foster, EHiot and Company, of 6§ South 
Street, established in the latter part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury. They were old-time merchants, owning their own 
ships and often carrying their own cargoes; one of their 
ships was named the Rebecca after Mrs. Elliot. 

Gus Van Cortlandt was a cousin of the Morrises — his 



father had changed his name from Morris to Van Cort- 
landt — and he was in and out of my room all the time. As 
he was then studying medicine, he was much interested in 
my case. He was a rough, hearty fellow who had been a 
sailor for a time, and who retained a loud seaman's voice. 
Without consulting Doctor Elliot, he conceived the idea 
that a blister on my side would be good For me, so I allowed 
him to put on an enormous blister and keep it there until 
there was a swelling like a great bladder, which so much 
disturbed Doctor Elliot that he positively forbade Gus ever 
to prescribe for me again. 

I must have been at the Morrises' from Christmas time 
until the spring. I was practising law when I was taken 
ill, and my long illness was a great interruption. Just be- 
fore, I had conducted and settled a case in favor of Mr. 
Samuel Bowne against the Staten Island Dyeing Company. 
It was for diverting the water from a spring on Mr. Bowne's 
place, and for my services I had received a fee of four hun- 
dred dollars, a nice wad to pay my doctor's bill. 

In June, after leaving the Morrises, I went for a long 
visit to the Bancroft Davises, who had rented our Dans- 
kammer house and were living there. I had a nice saddle- 
horse to ride in the morning, and when I came in about 
eleven they made me drink cream; then I would go out 
in the garden with Mrs. Davis, armed with a pair of garden 
shears and a basket, and we would cut roses along the wide, 
old-fashioned garden walk. 

Once when I was staying with the Davises, it may 
have been this time. Miss Cochrane, a relation of Mrs. 
Davis and a charming girl, was staying there also. She 
had beautiful hair, which I remember particularly because 
of an odd little incident. One evening, sitting on the porch 
in the twilight, we all got talking about bats, speculating 



idly whether ft were true that they sometimes became en- 
tangled in women's hair. Miss Cochrane must have gone 
to bed with her mind running on bats, for during the night 
she had a bad dream, and in her sleep she got a pair of scis- 
sors and cut off one of her two beautiful long braids of hair. 
You can imagine her consternation the next morning. 

Mrs. Davis was one of the loveliest and most culti- 
vated women I have ever known. She was withal a great 
lady. Her mother was Miss Gracie, and her father, James 
G. King, a distinguished citizen of New York. He was 
one of three brothers, all educated in England, one of whom 
was the Governor of New York and the other, Charles 
King, was president of Columbia College. Some years 
ago I designed and built a monument for the King family, 
a boulder on their old family place in Massachusetts, on 
which was fastened a large bronze tablet bearing the names 
of all the distinguished members of the family. It was 
an imposing list. 

Bancroft Davis went to Danskammer for his health — 
he had broken down from overwork and was supposed to 
have only one lung, but country hfe completely restored 
him. The Davises were much given to hospitality and 
kept open house at Danskammer, liking it there so much 
that later they bought land from us, and Richard Hunt 
built them a beautiful house in the style of Fontainebleau, 
costing about a hundred thousand dollars. This lovely 
place, "o'erlooking the tranquil bay," was afterward sold 
to the Rose Brick Company, and has now entirely disap- 
peared — all made into bricks ! One of Richard Hunt's 
most successful houses is the gray Vanderbilt house on the 
corner of Fifty-second Street and Fifth Avenue — I wonder 
how many of the passers-by have noticed the little figure 
of Hunt himself, as ''Master Builder," perched on one of 



the pinnacles. The paving stones of the sidewalk in front 
of this house and of the two brownstone Vanderbilt houses 
on the block below are the largest in New York— I dare 
say in the world. 

After graduating at Harvard, Mr. Davis went as secre- 
tary of legation to London, and then into partnership 
with Judge Kent, Dorman B. Eaton, and Henry E. Taiier, 
who were then engaged in a very large law business. He 
was also correspondent of the London Times in New York 
for years. When he retired and went to IWc in Newburgh, 
he was found to be so public-spirited and useful in the neigh- 
borhood that they sent him to the New York Legislature, 
and from there he was selected by Hamilton Fish to be 
his assistant-secretary of state and later was appointed 
minister to Berlin. He was the American agent who con- 
ducted the case for the Alabama Claims before the Geneva 
Tribunal, and later in life was judge of the Court of Claims 
in Washington and reporter of the Supreme Court. 

The firm of Kent, Eaton, and Kent — later Eaton, Davis, 
and Taiier — was an important one. They were all notable 
men. Dorman B. Eaton was a fine lawyer and a public- 
spirited man, very active in the prosecution of the Tweed 
ring and in the matter of Jay Gould. He so excited the 
enmity of these people that he was attacked and sand- 
bagged in the street, and was so badly injured that he 
never fully recovered. 

Henry E. Taiier, another partner, was a handsome and 
delightful fellow, a great friend of mine. He had a reall\ 
beautiful face, although he had lost an eye. It happened 
when he was a boy living in a basement house on the south 
side of Washington Square— I think it was number 48, 
which was removed when Sullivan Street was opened. 
Taiier was standing in the street in front of his house when 



a rowdy boy passing by insulted him and they had a fight. 
Some masons happened to be mixing some quicklime near 
by, and the rowdy picked up a handful of lime and thrust 
it in his face and blinded him in one eye for life. Jim Morris 
was in Tailer's class at college, and he told me that Tailer 
could see more with his one eye than any other boy with 
two; he graduated at the head of the class. 

Eaton, Davis, and Tailer had much important business. 
Among other things they were counsel for the Erie Rail- 
way, which had gone into the hands of a receiver, and they 
managed the whole matter of reconstruction and putting 
the road on its feet. The stock got as low as five dollars 
a share, and the firm knew positively that it would rise 
enormously as soon as the affairs were settled, but they did 
not think it right to buy any stock, because of the con- 
fidential relation they held to the road. They all had high 

Old Daniel Drew was a client of theirs. He was a power 
in Wall Street at that time and made an enormous for- 
tune, all of which I believe he afterward lost. He was 
a funny-looking, shabby,- shambling old man, something 
between a Methodist parson and a broken-down farmer, 
and never gave any appearance of wealth. He had begun 
life as a drover and in early times used to drive herds of 
cattle down to Carthage Landing, opposite Danskammer. 
Drovers in those days did not use banks, but kept all their 
money in their pockets in a huge roll called a wad. 

I studied law for a year in the office of Eaton, Davis, 
and Tailer at 45 Wall Street. Judge Kent had formerly 
been a member of the firm, when it was Kent, Davis, and 
Kent. The first day that I entered the office he took me 
into the law library and handed me a book, saying, "Begin 
on that." It was the first volume of Kent's Commentaries, 



written by his father, Chancellor Kent. Judge Kent made 
me his secretary to take notes for the cases in which he 
was referee, and this was a good and Interesting experience 
for a young man, as many distinguished men argued cases 
before him. Judge Kent had a private room for his refer- 
ences and shared it with a grave Spanish don, a lawyer, 
who was seldom there. This gentleman had adorned his 
walls with two vile landscapes, sunsets. In those days 
men were often to be seen in the streets with pairs of such 
pictures, all painted in the same way by the hundred, usually 
sunsets, which they sold for five dollars apiece, including 
the frames. Such were these landscapes. I had a fellow 
student about my age, named Newell, and we played many 
pranks with the don's furniture and pictures. We took 
large red notarial seals and improved the sunsets by past- 
ing them in and adding long rays of white chalk to repre- 
sent the setting sun. Newell was a bright, amusing fellow, 
and after hours we used to have fine wrestHng matches. 
He afterward distinguished himself by marrying the no- 
torious Adah Isaacs Menken, an actress especially well 
known in her famous part of Mazeppa. I once saw her 
in this play. She had a beautiful figure and in the great 
scene she was bound on the back of a fiery black steed, 
"a Tartar of the Ukraine breed," and dashed across the 
desert landscape, clad in flesh-colored tights. She exxited 
much admiration ! This actress had a picturesque career; 
I believe she took "Mazeppa" all over the world. Her 
matrimonial history was equally varied. She began by 
marrying Mr. Menken; then she became the wife of Heenan, 
the prize-fighter, and was divorced; later she married my 
friend Newell and was separated from him; and ended, 
they say, by fascinating the Emperor Louis Napoleon. 
I had a great admiration for Judge Kent, and it was 



because he was one of the Whig presidential electors that 
I cast my first vote for Bell and Everett in i860. I 
remember that Judge Davies, who also lived at Fishkill, 
said to Judge Kent at this time that he was sorry that he 
was an elector on that ticket and Judge Kent replied: 
''Speaking after the manner of men, I don't care a damn !" 
The Davies pew in church was directly in front of the 
Kents', the two judges sitting one behind the other, much 
to the annoyance of Judge Kent, who remarked that it 
worried him because Judge Davies made the responses so 
slowly that in the Creed, when everybody else was "ascend- 
ing into heaven," Judge Davies was still "descending into 

I was in New York during the Draft Riots in 1863. I 
came up-town on a stage the afternoon of the first day they 
began. As the stage neared Houston Street we were horri- 
fied to see a colored man chased by a great crowd of people 
running frantically down the street. He caught the bus 
just in the nick of time, burst open the door and flung him- 
self in, his face streaming with blood and his clothes half 
torn off his back. The stage drove on at once and he escaped. 
Colored people all through the city were in the greatest 
danger. Edward Ketchum, a friend of mine living on Madi- 
son Avenue, had a colored butler in his house who had been 
threatened, and the Ketchums were afraid that some of 
the Irish, who were the chief offenders, would attack the 
house. So several of Ketchum's friends, myself among the 
number, sat up all night watching, armed with revolvers, 
but nothing happened. The Irish got up this riot. They 
objected violently to the draft — they don't like fighting 
as much as they think they do — and insisted, with their 
usual logic, that the negroes were responsible as the war 
was being fought to set them free. 

I was living at this time in Thirty-third Street near 



Fifth Avenue. I heard that the Colored Orphan Asylum 
on Fifth Avenue was on fire and hurried up there to see if I 
could do anything, but when I arrived there was nothing left 
but smoking ruins. As I walked back down Fifth Avenue, 
near the corner of Twenty-ninth Street I saw a mob of 
toughs who had burned and looted a house near by and 
were carrying off their spoils; a ruffian in a red shirt, open 
at the neck and smeared with blood, had a rosewood table 
as his prize, and another of the gang was carrying the mari)Ie 
top of the table on his head. A friend told me he saw the 
books from Mr. Choate's library scattered all about the 
streets. Just across the street from this crowd walked a 
dozen policemen. As they got directly opposite the mob, 
they suddenly turned, ran across the Avenue, each police- 
man seized a rioter by his collar and began belaboring him 
over the head with his club. In a moment the crowd had 
abandoned the booty and before you could say Jack Robin- 
son the street was clear — I never saw a neater piece of work. 
I found the whole block front on Broadway between Twenty- 
eighth and Twenty-ninth Streets on fire. The buildings 
were two-story wooden affairs and the rioters had broken 
in, built fires on the floors, and burned the whole block 

The next day I was standing on the corner of Park 
Place and Broadway, watching a crowd of people gathering 
in front of the Tribune Building. Park Place was almost 
empty, except for a dray waiting at the corner without a 
driver, a whip lying on the floor of the dray. Suddenly 
the crowd burst into loud shouting and a negro man came 
flying across the City Hall Park with a crowd of about a 
hundred men — they seemed a thousand — close after him. 
He caught sight of the dray, leaped into it, snatched up 
the whip, laid it furiously across the horse's back, uttered 
a wild yell, and lashing the horse into a gallop outdistanced 



his pursuers and disappeared down College Place. If he 
had been caught he would doubtless have been strung up 
to a lamp-post, as so many poor negroes were in those ter- 
rible days. 

Any one, even a clergyman or doctor, seen with a negro 
was in danger. They tell of a colored man trying in vain 
to find a clergyman who would bury his dead child, until 
some one said: "There is a little parson named Dix who 
isn't afraid of anything, you might try him," and Doctor 
Dix came up to the scratch. In fact, Doctor Dix's friends 
said he rather enjoyed driving to the cemetery with the 
colored family, at the risk of his life. 

All law and order were abohshed — awful crowds of 
horrible-looking men thronged the streets — for several 
days the city was in a state of anarchy as in the time of 
the French Revolution. All the militia were at the front 
and no troops were available, but at last, in about three 
days, some soldiers came, the Seventh Regiment among 
them, and order was restored. Doctor Stuyvesant Morris 
was in the Seventh at that time, and he told me that as 
they marched through the streets they were sniped at from 
the windows and brickbats were thrown at them; it w^as 
pretty dangerous, but he said he did not mind the danger 
so much as a large rent he got in the seat of his trousers. 
Some cavalrj^ also appeared and tethered their horses in 
Union Square amid bales of hay and other fodder scat- 
tered over the ground, until it quite looked hke a be- 
leaguered city. 

The following letter, written at this time from the front 
to Miss Neilson, is curiously interesting: 

"... The scarcity of news has left me no alterna- 
tive but to wait until something occurred worthy of note. 



I have waited. Something has occurred, and I will pro- 
ceed at once to make you acquainted with the main facts 
in the case. The country about Columbus does not at 
this time harbour any part of the Rebel Army, but is in- 
fested by gangs of 'Cut throat Guerrillas,' who never lose 
an opportunity of plundering and murdering all who fail 
in their path; and not content with kiUing, perform all 
manner of Barbarities upon their victims, such as cutting 
off hands and heads. 

"Not being in favor of such cruelties, and knowing 
that if we submitted to them, we were never sure of our 
lives, I determined to pay them ofT in their own coin. I 
am not naturally a 'bloody-minded' man, but I think that 
a determined course of action often saves many lives. Find- 
ing that one of the most notorious leaders, named Forbes, 
had been bushwhacking some of our men, I determined 
to make an example of him which his brother murderers 
would not soon forget. To make a short story, I sought 
Forbes, found him, put a bullet through his skull, and 
then ! ! ! now don't faint, cut his head off! ! ! and carried it 
back to Cohimbus, where I was hailed with joy for deliver- 
ing the Country of such a pest. The General commanding 
thanked me, and all our officers likewise, and all agreed 
if others had followed my example, bushwhacking had 
ceased long ago. I am to have my vignette taken in my 
Butternut dress which I use in scouting, with some of my 
Blood hounds, and will send you one." 

I was still living in Thirty-third Street when I heard 
very early one morning the dreadful news of Lincohi's as- 
sassination. One could hardly realize it was true until 
one went out into the street and black began to grow upon 
the houses — there did not seem to be one that was not 



shrouded in mourning. Indeed such Copperheads as re- 
fused to display any signs of grief were in danger of having 
their windows broken. I never saw anything like it — the 
sorrow was almos-t universal, the feeling bitter and intense. 
I heard of an old farmer driving back from Newburgh, 
meeting a Copperhead, and telling him that Lincoln had 
been killed. The traitor said, ''I'm glad of it," where- 
upon the old farmer leaped out of his wagon, attacked the 
other man, and nearly killed him. But this sort of thing 
was the exception. People who had hated Lincoln seemed 
all at once to come to their senses and realize what manner 
of man it was that they had been vilifying. It is almost 
impossible at the present time to believe the kind of things 
that Lincoln's enemies used to say about him, even more 
absurd than the things Wilson's enemies say to-day. A 
specimen is a paragraph in an old letter of 1861 — "What 
can be said for Lincoln now, after his flight by night dis- 
guised in a Scotch cap, to escape assassination at Balti- 
more, on the faith of that old driveller Scott?" (How funny 
Lincoln would have looked in a Scotch cap, if this tale had 
been true !) I am thankful to say that I have had the sense 
always to admire both Lincoln and Wilson, though I failed 
to vote for Lincoln the first time — a lifelong regret. 

I suppose it is pretty much forgotten that President 
Andrew Jackson once had an attempt made on his life. 
Mr. Murray, my father's friend of whom I have spoken 
in a previous chapter, happened to be in Washington soon 
after and was told all about it. It seems the President 
was attending the funeral of a member of Congress when 
an insane man only a few feet away fired at him twice, using 
two pistols, as he stood under the portico of the Capitol. 
But each time the pistol missed fire. After the man had 
been secured, the pistols were carefully examined — both 



were new and both were properly loaded with ball and 
powder, yet both caps had been exploded without igniting 
the charge! The bystanders told Mr. Murray that the old 
soldier never flinched but went straight for the assassin 
with a stout stick he always carried, and would doubtless 
have finished him off single-handed if he had been alone. 

In 1864 I bought a thoroughbred mare that I named 
Lucile, as Owen Meredith's poem was then my favorite. 
I paid seven hundred dollars for her, which was a great 
price for me, in fact the most I ever paid for a horse; but 
she was a beautiful mare, although scarcely broken. I 
took her to Tallman's stable, corner of Broadway and 
Thirty-eighth Street, where I kept her for two years and 
completed her education by riding her out over the pave- 
ments to Central Park and exercising and training her there 
until I got her thoroughly broken to the saddle. But she 
was a hard one to manage, and frequently ran away with 
me in the park. One day she started near the reservoir 
and ran down near the pond where they used to keep swans; 
there is a rather sharp turn there and she was going so fast 
that I could not bring her round the turn, so I kept straight 
on over the remains of a wire fence lying coiled up in the 
bushes, in which she caught her feet and dragged the whole 
thing out into the driving road, but she did not get me off. 
She was a bay, sixteen hands high and beautifully made, 
one of the handsomest horses I have ever seen. I sold her 
after two years for five hundred dollars to a wine merchant, 
who was so pleased at getting her that he gave John, my 
groom at Tallman's, a box of wine as a present. He had 
bought her for his son, who could not ride her however, 
and I believe was thrown. But she never got me off her 
back through all my experience with her, though I rode 
her nearly every day for two years. 



Freelance was another horse of whom I think with af- 
fection. He was a thoroughbred two-year-old, by im- 
ported Babrownie, that I bought at auction at Jerome 
Park for three hundred dollars. I did not attempt to ride 
him until he was three, when I took him to TaHman's stable, 
where they had a back lot for exercising. I don't know 
whether he had been ridden before or not, but he gave no 
evidence of having been broken at all and would buck- 
jump all over the lot, but in a little while he sobered down 
and I got him perfectly broken. I taught him to jump, 
and he jumped well and he was very fast. I rode him at 
Jerome Park in several races, carrying one hundred and 
fifty pounds — these were called 'Svelter weights." When 
I went to Rome I had to dispose of him, so I left him w^ith 
Will Crosby to sell for me and he sold him to John Minton 
for two hundred dollars; he was then five years old, fifteen 
hands high, and a perfect saddle-horse to my taste. 

Mr. and Mrs. Hamilton Fish celebrated their Golden 
Wedding, December 15, 1886, and had a reception in their 
house on Stuyvesant Square. I remember at this recep- 
tion I met Gouverneur Morris, of Morrisania — not the 
young writer of that name but his grandfather — and he 
told me a characteristic anecdote of Doctor Richard Morris 
of Westchester, who was fond of practical jokes. Doctor 
Morris met Gouverneur and asked him if he w^ould like 
a quarter of beef; of course he said he would. "Well then," 
said Doctor Morris, "drive out to my place to-morrow and 
I'll give you one." So the next day Gouverneur appeared 
at the Morris house and "Uncle Richard" took him out 
into a field and pointing to a dead cow lying there said: 
"There's your quarter of beef, she died yesterday, help 




"Uncle Richard" was a splendid old gentleman, a good 
sport. He always kept a barrel of whiskey in the cellar, 
and he had a fine flock of game-cocks as well as trotting 
horses and bull-terriers. The doctor owned a celebrated 
trotting mare Stella, whose grave in Westchester is still 
marked with a stone and whose portrait used to be well 
known in a colored engraving published by Currier of Nas- 
sau Street, of "Stella and Whalebone," a matched pair 
of trotters, making record time. He had a famous bull- 
terrier named Terror, who once dashed at me from under 
his chair, as I was crossing the lawn to speak to the doctor, 
and fastened his fangs in my leg; luckily he only succeeded 
in tearing a long strip in my new gray trousers. It was 
a little embarrassing, as I had only come for a morning call, 
but one of the girls offered to mend it for me, so I borrowed 
a pair of nether garments from one of her brothers, and 
she very deftly mended the rent so that it could hardly 
be seen. 

When the doctor and his brothers, Gus Van Cortlandt 
and Robert, were just approaching manhood, they went 
abroad together, and went to Paris and were presented at 
court. All three of them were very handsome, and greatly 
resembled the royal family, so much so that this likeness 
to royalty was much remarked. The King said jokingly 
to one of them apropos of this likeness, "Was your mother 
ever in Paris?" but the young man answered naively, "No, 
sire, but my father was." 

Young Nicholas Morris, one of Doctor Morris's sons — 
always called "Cola" — was lost at sea. He was in the navy 
and went on a voyage to the South, whence he never re- 
turned. His ship, the man-of-war A /6am-, was never heard 
of again. Curiously enough, the last port she touched at 



was Pensacola — "think of Cola!" For many, many years 
**Aunt Lillie" thought that every knock at the door or 
foot on the stair was her son come home. 

Pelham, Doctor Morris's place in Westchester, was re- 
nowned for its hospitahty. I remember very well the first 
time I went to Pelham. I was living at 44 Union Square 
when I was asked up there to spend a week-end. I remember 
I hesitated on Friday about going, as I did not feel much 
Hke it, but a lady who was staying in the same house said 
to me, "You'd better go, you may meet some one you like." 
Ladies are apt to be match-makers even when they are 
speculating with the unknown and, sure enough, I met 
my future wife there. Miss Helen Neilson, whom I had 
never seen before. She and her sister Julia were staying 
at Pelham, and also Miss Pauline SpofFard, Miss Molly 
Williamson, Harry Redmond, and Robert Barry. Besides 
Stuyve and his three sisters, Lou Morris was there, home 
on furlough. They ahvays had a house party when he came 
home. The next day was Sunday and we all went to church 
at St. Peter's, Westchester. Coming out of church I spoke 
to my future wife for the first time — I was never introduced 
to her. It was at the old Morris place at Morrisania that 
my father met my mother for the first time, and it was 
during this same visit at Pelham that Julia Neilson met 
Robert Barry whom she afterward married. So you see 
the Morrises have played quite a part in our lives ! In the 
evenings at the Morrises' we used to play round games, and 
on Sunday evenings we all said the catechism, taking the 
questions in turn. Some of us knew it all except "our duty 
to our neighbor." (I remember how hard it was when my 
mother gave me the catechism to learn on hot Sunday after- 
noons, and I don't think I ever mastered the latter part 



of it, particularly "What desirest thou?"— this was a 

I was married to Helen Neilson on the sixth of Decem- 
ber, 1866, at her mother's house on Stuyvcsant Square, 
by the Reverend Doctor John Cotton Smith of the Church 
of the Ascension. 

And we celebrated our Golden Wedding on December 
6, 19 16, at 58 West Tenth Street. 




"Rome, that reformed the world, accustomed was 
Two suns to have, which one road and the other. 
Of God and of the world, made manifest. 
One has the other quenched, and to the crosier 
The sword is joined." 

— Dante. 

My first sight of Rome was on the twenty-seventh of 
January, 1859. Happily there was no railway in those 
days, so the diligence took me from Civita Vecchia to Rome 
across the Campagna. I remember seeing a lot of French 
soldiers drilhng on the beach at Civita Vecchia — Italy and 
France went to war with Austria that following summer. 

I had often heard of the ** desolate" Campagna, and 
expected to see an arid waste, but I soon changed my mind, 
and from that day, throughout a long after-experience, I 
never ceased to love and enjoy its endless charm. That 
first morning was one to be remembered, delicious as only 
an Italian winter's day can be; under a soft haze the land- 
scape melted away in almost imperceptible folds and tones, 
in varied gradations and shades of opalescent and silvery 
color, touched here and there by a line of the first fresh 
green of the wheat-fields, or a faint glistening spot of water. 
All was remote and solemn. In the distance, the turrets 
of an old castle of Julius the Second peered through shadowy 
groves of stone-pines above vast tan-colored marshes; the 
fields we passed through were scattered with grass-grown 
mounds, the remains of long-forgotten cities once great 
and gay — now dwindled to low hills, where scattered flocks 



of sheep, guarded by great dogs and shepherds leaning on 
their staves, were silhouetted against the soft bhie-gray 
sky. An almost deserted land, a great silence enxeloping 
it, only broken now and then by the long-drawn-out and 
monotonous song of some passing driver of a wine-cart, 
in a conical hat and red waistcoat, his little horse decked 
with colored ribbons and pheasants' feathers, tinkling bells 
and profuse brass mountings, all to keep off the assaults 
of the evil eye; or by the hoarse cries of a wild rider in sheep- 
skin breeches, carrying a long iron-pointed goad, where- 
with to urge his train of black, sad-eyed bufTalo, drawing 
a huge block of white marble, perhaps for some sculptor 
in Rome. 

The Campagna was then owned by a few great nobles 
and their vast estates were diversified by many bits of 
ancient ruins, but nothing modern — no villages and but 
few houses. An occasional wine-shop displayed its famihar 
bush above the door, showing that wine was to be had with- 
in, and here and there a group of farm buildings huddled 
around a tall mediaeval tower, in the distance the long gray 
broken lines of the old Roman aqueducts marched across 
the plain. 

So our day passed. Suddenly our vetturino, with a 
crack of his whip, shouted "Ecco Roma !" and we saw shin- 
ing in the extreme distance, like a great pearl, as Story 
calls it, that grew and grew, the splendid dome of St. Peter's I 
And it was a dramatic moment when our horses dashed 
through a tall archway directly from the quiet Campagna 
into the Square of San Pietro, and there was the honcy- 
colored facade of Bramante's basilica embraced by its 
grand colonnades, and the Egyptian obehsk Hanked by 
the noble fountains, flinging high their spray that drifted 
across the square in silvery clouds. 



Rome was a very different place then from what it is 
now. Then the moss and dust of ages lay thick over every- 
thing; nothing had been repaired for a thousand years. 
The interior of the Coliseum was then a green law^n. It 
had been consecrated as a church, and stations of the cross 
stood around its outer edge; the walls w-ere bright with 
wallflowers and many low-grow^ing plants, and with all sorts 
of shrubs and traihng ivy — so many that a book has been 
written on the flora of the Coliseum. There had been but 
little excavation in the Forum, which was mostly covered, 
many feet deep, with the accumulated soil of ages. The 
ivy-clad \\alls of the palace of the Csesars rose at the right, 
and long rows of faflen porphyry and granite columns from 
some ruined temple lay along its sides. The baths of Car- 
acalla had been blown up at some remote time, and were 
now huge masses of ruin overgrown with vines and flowers, 
most beautiful and picturesque. 

In 1869 when I again saw Rome it was still almost un- 
changed, but when the Italians took possession in 1870 
they dug away the soil of the Coliseum, stripped all the 
vines and flowers from the ruins and cleaned it up, and 
archaeologists have been busy ever since removing the sur- 
face of the Forum in order to expose the pavement. The 
beautiful masses of ruin covered w^ith verdure were re- 
moved from the floor of the baths of Caracalla, and the 
whole interior is now bare and uninviting and used as a 
museum of antiquities. AH this is doubtless more interest- 
ing to the antiquarian, but far less pleasing to the artist 
and the man of taste. 

I found most of the little common things of Rome un- 
changed in ten years, when in 1869 I saw it again. Naz- 
zarri still sold his confections on the corner of the Piazza 
di Spagna, with the bookshop of Spithoever opposite; there 



too was the American banking house of Maquay, Hooker, 
and Company, the latter name softened to "Signor Okeri" 
by the Italians; Keats's house at the corner of the Spanish 
Steps looked just the same, and on the steps lounged, as 
of yore, the gayly dressed models waiting for custom, and 
apparently the very same beggars and cab-drivers tormented 
the passers-by. The same little antiquity dealer, rather 
more mouldy than before, displayed his wares in the Via 
Condotti, opposite the historic Cade Greco. In the centre 
of the square was the same old fruit-stand and the foun- 
tain with its flock of glass ducks sailing on the little lake — 
all was unchanged. 

I was appointed Consul to the Papal States in March, 
1869, ^^^ with my family left New York in April for Rome; 
but I was given a summer's leave of absence before settling 
down there, because the State Department at Washington 
considered the climate of Rome unhealthy during the sum- 
mer, an impression which I never took any pains to re- 
move. So during the four years of my residence in Rome 
I had leave of absence in the summers, which we spent in 
Switzerland, the Austrian Tyrol, the Italian lakes, and 
Venice. Considering that we travelled with nurses and 
children, we were rather adventurous. In those days there 
was no funicular to the hotel on Monte Generoso at Lugano, 
and I remember our party made an amusing caravan, each 
trunk on a separate mule, and the nurse on horseback carry- 
ing the baby in her arms. 

Before going to Rome I wrote to my vice-consul, Pietro 
Calvi — whom I had inherited from my predecessor Mr. 
Cushman, the nephew of Charlotte Cushman, the great 
actress — to engage an apartment and a consular ofiicc for 
me, but when I reached Rome, I found both unsatisfac- 
tory. The apartment was at 68 Via Capo le Case, a nice 



situation, but it had no other recommendation — any one 
who is famihar with Roman furnished apartments will 
know just what it w^as like. Our padrone had ransacked 
the auction-rooms for bits of broken-down furniture, faded 
gaudy carpets and curtains, chairs and tables with glued- 
on legs that dropped off when you touched them, and which 
you were obliged to pay for. This was soon remedied when 
we began to collect really good old furniture, but the con- 
sular office looked like an art gallery crammed with hideous 
copies of the old masters, and the stairway was lined with 
them, my landlord calmly informing me that they were 
all for sale and that I would probably like to dispose of 
them to my countrymen, but to his despair I promptly 
ordered them all away. 

The next year we moved to the old Palazzo Zuccari, 
number 64 Via Sistina, which was built by the brothers 
Zuccaro, well-known artists of the sixteenth century. It 
stood next to the Tempietto near the top of the Spanish 
Steps, and was a picturesque old palace, built of a pale red- 
dish brick, originally covered wath w^hite stucco which had 
partly fallen away; and as it had not been painted or re- 
paired since it was built, the whole had mellowed to a beau- 
tiful tint of delicate light pinkish-gray, and from the numer- 
ous crevices of the w^alls sprang various plants, tufts of 
wallflowers and little shrubs. The front door and entrance 
were on the Via Sistina and the house ran through the block, 
so that the real front was on the Via Gregoriana. Our 
padrone was named Zuccaro, a descendant of one of the 
painters, a shrinking little man w^ho seldom appeared and 
lived modestly in the basement. The Honorable Mrs. 
Bruce, lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, lived on the second 
floor and our apartment was on the third. The arched 
hall and winding stairway were broad and well lighted 
and frescoed all the way up by the Zuccari in the Raphael- 



esque manner. Against these oFd and faded frescoes a slight 
green lattice had been placed and over it trailed green cac- 
tus, covered with scarlet blossoms tliat bloomed the winter 

It was a delightful apartment. To Ik- sure, we had 
only one servants' room; and all the water in the house 
had to be carried to the second floor from a fountain in 
the courtyard, but we didn't mind that. It was easy enough 
to get a man to do that or anything else for one in Rome. 
If we needed a servant it was only necessary to mention 
it to a friend and several would immediately appear, only 
too glad to come for whatever wages we chose to gK-e. 

Roman servants are very affectionate, and become 
attached to a family in a wonderfully short time. I re- 
member returning to Rome, after a trip to Naples during 
the great eruption of Vesuvius, and being greeted with 
almost frantic joy by the servants, who rushed out into 
the street and surrounded our carriage, and began kissing 
our hands and arms, and anything they could reach. The 
accounts of the loss of life in the eruption had alarmed them. 
The cook, whom we hardly knew by sight, was in floods of 

From our balcony we looked over the w hole of the city, 
spread out like a map. It was one of the finest \ lews in 
Rome and wonderful at sunset. There was the yellow 
Tiber winding through the city, here the Castle of St. An- 
gelo and St. Peter's dome; while far beyond kiy the dch"- 
cately colored Campagna melting into the distant moun- 
tains. Our palazzo was such a quaint old place that I used 
to remark that the flights of rooks liked to settle there, 
when they flew up from the old half-ruined church-tower 
below, and chatter together for a while, before they went 
to roost in the trees of the Villa Ludovisi. 

Our drawing-room was called the Camera Giuseppe, 



because its walls were frescoed with scenes from the life of 
Joseph, by Von Hoffman, a pupil of Overbeck — I believe 
these pictures have since been removed and sent to Munich. 
One of them, a desert scene where Joseph was being sold 
by his brethren, with a train of camels in the foreground, 
was really fine. They were mentioned in the guide-books 
and visitors often came to see them. I was once showing 
them to a party of Americans and one of them, a lady, 
looked at the picture of Joseph and Potiphar's wife, mod- 
estly placed over a door where it would attract the least 
attention, and remarked naively: 

"I always thought that Joseph was a great fool." 

Over the front door of the palace was a shield bearing 
the arms of the United States, and the rooms of the con- 
sulate adjoined our apartment. As there was then no rep- 
resentative of the American Government in Rome except 
myself, I had charge of the Legation and its archives. A 
fine library belonged to the Legation, so that the large room 
of my office was fined with books, and this gave it a fiterary 
flavor. Calvi, my vice-consul, was a Roman lawyer; he 
was also a poet and pubfished his verses ; and he had prac- 
tised in the Roman courts, where all the pleadings were 
then in Latin, so he spoke and wrote Latin fluently and 
astonished the Romish ecclesiastics, who often came to 
the office to execute documents, by his rapid writing in 
Latin. He spoke Engfish well but sometimes turned curious 
sentences. Once when I was away in the summer, he wrote 
me of the death of a near relative, at the same time dilating 
on the extreme heat, and remarked: 

"Heat and affliction are very corroding virtues, I ex- 
perience both in the highest degree." 

Another time he wrote to me, after I had come back 
to America, that he hoped when I saw Mr. Nevin, the rec- 



tor of the American Church, his presence would "awake 
in me all Roman feelings," and added: 

"The American Church in the Via Nazionale is the great 
religious event of Rome. The Union Church, patronized 
by Mrs. Gould, and the South Baptist Convention arc 
making strong efforts, but they all feed stomachi coi mac- 
cheroni, instead of souls with Gospel." 

Unsolicited by me, the government supplied me witli 
a consular clerk, Richard H. Savage, who had lately grad- 
uated with distinction from West Point, but who because 
of failing health had left the army and come to Rome. He 
wrote French with perfect accuracy, but spoke it with a 
vile accent, and was not much use to me, as Calvi did all 
my extra work. In a few months he tired of the job and 
went off to Egypt, ostensibly to join the Khedive's army, 
but failing in this returned to Rome for a little while and 
then drifted away and I never saw him again. He was a 
good recounter of adventures in California, and was after- 
ward author of several books, among them "My Oflicial 
Wife." He has been dead for several years. 

On my way to Rome in October, 1869, I happened to 
be stopping in Bologna at the Hotel Brun. I was sitting 
in the reading-room and near me was a group of Amer- 
icans discussing American consuls in Europe, much to 
their disadvantage. Finally one of them remarked: 

"What can you expect when they appoint such a per- 
son as they have in Rome now! ^'ou would think a man 
like Secretary Hamilton Fish might at least select a gentle- 
man — this Armstrong, who is at Rome, is a sort of a horse- 
jockey — rides in public races at Jerome Park and all that 
sort of thing— I call it downright disgraceful ! What they 
ought to have in Rome is some one who is a judge of art 
and literature, not a sporting man," etc., etc. 



Later I met the speaker and found him to be a very 
nice fellow, and got to know him well; but I never referred 
to this conversation and only trust that he revised his first 
opinion of me — he was a Mr. Stokes Boyd, of Philadelphia. 

It was part of my duty as consul in Rome to seal the 
cofFms of Americans who died there, for the city govern- 
ment would not allow them to be removed until they were 
sealed, and incidentally I learned what exorbitant charges 
were made to families after a death. It was very expensive 
to die in Rome, for if any one happened to end his days in 
a pension or hotel all the rooms had to be papered, painted, 
and refurnished at the expense of the family. The bankers 
also had understandings with the undertakers and did not 
spare their charges, and they usually had an assistant whose 
special duty was attending to funerals. One of them had 
a ghoul-hke old man, named Ercole, who was sometimes 
invited to functions other than funerals. On one of these 
occasions, seeing him in the distance with his arms some- 
what extended and with a calculating expression in his 
eye, Fred Crowninshield said: 

"See old Ercole over there, taking time by the fore- 
lock and measuring that man for his cofFm!" 

American consuls are supposed to attend to all sorts 
of business for their countrymen, whose requests are often 
unusual and amusing. Among others, I had a letter from 
a lady who asked me if I could find and send her a pair 
of rubbers that she had left in the American church the 
winter before; strange to say they were found and forwarded 
to her, by Ziegler our faithful sexton, who was equal to 
almost any emergency. I once got a letter of eighteen pages 
from a crazy man, and another from a collector of postage 
stamps in Ohio, asking me to send him Roman stamps. 
Another time the police sent to me to admonish an Amer- 



ican, who was leading a dissipated life and wasting his 
money; and I remember being appealed to by some ladies 
w^ho had been missing things from their ajDurtment for some 
time, and at last noticed a trap-door in tlu- roof through 
which they found their landlady was in the liabil of com- 
ing down at night and walking off with anything she hap- 
pened to fancy. 

During my residence in Rome I introduced several 
hundred Americans to His Holiness, Pio Nono. These 
Papal receptions were frequent. The visitor's name had 
to be sent in a w-eek beforehand, in return came a permit 
stating when the applicant should appear, and I sent my 
vice-consul to present him; I never went myself. Al- 
though I presented so many Americans to the Pope, I was 
never actually presented to Iiim niyself. I had an appoint- 
ment for a private interview, but at the last moment was 
ill and could not go, so I put it off, and then Rome was 
taken and I was no longer consul to the Papal States, so 
finally I never went at all. 

I frequently saw him walking on the Pincian Hill. He 
always w^alked in a hollow square formed by his guard, 
followed by his gorgeous carriage. All the people fell on 
their knees as he passed. My little daughter Margaret, 
about three years old, a pretty child with a bright color 
and fair hair, was walking there one day with her Itahan 
nurse, who, of course, went down on her knees as the Pope 
passed; but little Margaret, when she saw this benevolent- 
looking, handsome old man in his beautiful robes, escaped 
from her nurse and ran out to him and took his hand. When 
he caught sight of the httle creature close beside hmi the 
kind old man stooped down and kissed her and patted her 
on the head, remarking "E bella, e buona, e cara," and 
gave her his blessing, and then she trotted back to her nurse, 



who was so alarmed at her audacity, and yet so overwhelmed 
by pride and joy, that the child never forgot it. A favorite 
game after that was to dress up in a paper cocked hat and 
long cloak and play she was a bishop. 

Pio Nono was really a beautiful man, if I may use the 
term, graceful and majestic in his carriage, with a very 
fair, pink and white complexion, black sparkling eyes and 
snowy-white, abundant, curling hair. He did not look at 
all old, in spite of his silvery head, which, far from taking 
aw^ay from his brilliant look, seemed to accentuate it. 

The popes must get pretty tired of functions. On Can- 
dlemas, Pio Nono was carried about the church on a plat- 
form borne on men's shoulders, from which he blessed the 
people, but it swayed so that he was often seasick and could 
not have enjoyed it as much as did his faithful subjects. 
Fortunately he was able to leave the curing of diseased 
animals to St. Anthony — on the seventeenth of January 
all the sick cattle and broken-kneed horses in Rome were 
taken to the church of St. Anthony, where they were 
sprinkled with holy w^ater by the priests and made whole. 
Another curious ceremony was on St. Agnes' Day, when 
two Iambs, dressed in red ribbons, were placed on the altar 
of her church, and then given to the nuns to rear, their 
wool, when they were shorn, being donated to the Pope 
to be woven into a pallium for a bishop. It must all be a 
survival of some ceremony of the Vestal Virgins; I wonder 
if it is still kept up. In Holy Week two priests in lace vest- 
ments appeared in our house, and went through every room, 
blessing it and expecting a douceur in return. Every house 
in Rome used to be blessed in this way once a year. 

From a very good place in St. Peter's I saw the pro- 
cession at the opening in December, 1869, of the Ecumenical 
Council, which declared the Infallibility of the Pope. Six 



hundred bishops and cardinals marching along, from the 
Vatican to St. Peter's, all gorgeously dressed; the Eastern 
bishops looking more like Arab chiefs than Christian pnl- 
ates, in gowns of many colors carrying tiaras set with Jewels; 
the Western dignitaries in purple and lace, with w hite-and- 
gold vestments, and each with his silk mitre in his hand; 
the Pope bringing up the rear. They were escorted by a 
French regiment, the Papal Zouaves, and the Swiss Guard, 
the latter in brilliant steel hchnets and cuirasses, and knee- 
breeches of red, yellow and black stripes. After the open- 
ing ceremonies the doors were closed to the public. The 
council dragged on for months, several of the old bishops 
dying before it was over, for many of the clergy were op- 
posed to the doctrine of infalhbility. There was a saying 
that ''the bishops came to Rome shepherds and went home 
sheep." But in the end the Pope won out— it is strange 
that he should have been given this vast increase in spiritual 
power just at the time that he was to lose the temporal. 

In my intercourse with the Vatican, which was con- 
siderable, I often had private interviews with Cardinal 
Antonelli, who generally received me alone in the evening 
in a private room. He was always polite and quite willing 
to talk and be obliging, when he could conveniently do 
so. He was very shrewd-looking, with piercing black eyes 
and a pale face, and usually sat behind a desk, with his 
head bowed and resting on one hand, looking at one from 
under his black eyebrows in a sort of catlike and watchful 
way that gave him a rather sinister look. At the time of 
the opening of the Ecumenical Council, I thought that as 
I had charge of the American Legation, and there was no 
American diplomat at Rome, the cardinal might assume 
that I held a quasi-diplomatic position and give mc a seat 
in the council; but he very politely but firmly declined, 



with many apologies, saying that none but actual diplomatic 
representatives could be so honored. He wrote me many 
long letters in his own handwriting, mostly about trifling 
things. I think that he was fond of letter-writing; indeed, 
they say that he was one of the most profuse letter-writers 
in Europe, and consequently his autographs, of which I 
have kept several, are not as valuable as ordinarily would 
be those of so distinguished a man. 

Pere Hyacinthe spent a winter in Rome about this time. 
It was after he had left the Romish Church — he had been 
a priest — and was now married and a professor. He was a 
fine-looking, attractive, and agreeable man. I never heard 
him preach, but he was said to be a remarkable orator. 
His wife was a handsome, rather common woman, of about 
thirty — I think she had been a corset-maker, or something 
of that sort. 

The winter of 1870 was very gay and my wife and I 
were so busy enjoying ourselves that we had no time to 
think of the cares and worries of life, but, all the same, we 
were rather glad when the spring came and we did not have 
to go out somewhere or other every evening. I remember 
a very grand ball at the French Embassy, where the dia- 
monds and dresses were gorgeous and the number of princes 
and princesses quite overpowering. The rooms at the Co- 
lonna palace where the ball was given are very fine, and 
the music and flowers were beautiful, but the Americans, 
only about a dozen of whom were asked, were astonished 
to find that the supper consisted of only tea, chocolate, 
cake, lemonade, and candy. 

At last the rush of Holy Week and the splendid Easter 
ceremonies at St. Peter's were over, foHowed in the incon- 
gruous Roman fashion by fireworks, horse-races, and iHu- 
minations. St. Peter's was beautiful, strung all over with 



little lights — although, of course, it was before the day of 
electricity — so that the outline of the wonderful dome could 
be seen sparkling for miles away across the Campagna. 

Mrs. Armstrong to her mother, Mrs. Neilson, New York 

Rome, June 19, 1870. 
"... Last Thursday was a great festival here, with a 
splendid procession around the Square of St. Peter's, monks 
in white and monks in brown, priests in white and in black, 
and black with huge red crosses on their breasts, bishops 
in their white robes and mitres, a band of music, the Pope's 
guard in splendid uniforms on horseback, cone-shaped 
canopies representing the greatest churches in Rome — 
the basilicas — with magnificent crucifixes carried before 
and after them, and then the Pope, carried on a large plat- 
form with a canopy over him. He is supposed to be kneel- 
ing at an altar, and his drapery is arranged to look as if 
his legs came out behind, but in reality he is sitting, as it 
would be too fatiguing for him to kneel so long. Another 
day an altar was arranged in the Corso, and as it was just 
before dusk all the candles shone very prettily in the pro- 
cession and on the altar." 

The last spree of the season was the Artists' Festival 
at Cervara. It had been forbidden for the previous ten 
years, so this time it was gotten up with unusual care. The 
German artists were the principal performers, though others 

I joined in, making a motley crowd, dressed in every variety 
of absurd and picturesque costume — Arabs, Druids, In- 

{ dians, Greeks, Egyptians — some mounted on horses, but 
the greater part of them astride of donkeys. They assem- 
bled at an earl}- hour at one of the gates and marched in 
procession to the Tor degli Schiavi, that fine ruin on the 



Campagna, where they breakfasted and then went on to 
Cervara. The caves there are exceedingly picturesque, cut 
out of the solid rock, and here they danced, acted little 
plays, and rode most entertaining races — fifty or sixty 
horses and asses, with gayly decorated riders, speeding 
up and down a meadow for an hour or so, while the lookers- 
on dotting the hillsides applauded uproariously. Our party, 
a jolly crowd of intimate friends, took our lunch under the 
shadow of a great rock, prolonging it until twilight fell, 
when an immense dragon crawled heavily out of one of the 
caverns and was quickly despatched by a nimble St. George, 
mounted on a stick, w^hose comic victory brought the pag- 
eant to a close. Then home across the lovely Campagna, 
of which one never tired, its delicate colors ever changing 
into something even more enchanting. 

When all these festivities were over, and spring had 
really come, most of the bores — the newspaper correspon- 
dents, the importunate Americans with their strange de- 
mands on the Consulate, and the tourists in general — left 
Rome and we settled down to two calm months of charm- 
ing weather and the pleasantest life in the world. It was 
like June at home, every old ruin draped with flowers and 
the air so sweet that it reminded me of the Danskammer 
apple-orchard in full bloom. The longer I lived in Rome 
the more I loved it ! 

In the autumn of 1870 the Franco-Prussian War was at 
its height — the battle of Sedan was on the first of Sep- 
tember. It seems strange now to remember that the sym- 
pathies of most Americans were with the Prussians, per- 
haps because it was the French who had declared war, but 
partly for the reasons implied in the letter from the Reverend 
Mr. Nevin given below. Mr. Nevin, rector of the Amer- 
ican Church in Rome, had tried to join the American Am- 
bulance Corps in France, as he felt it was his duty to do 



so on account of the experience he had had in our Civil 
War, but, for the same reason, he realized just what such 
an offer implied in the way of hardships and horrors. 

The Reverend Robert J. Nevin to D. M. A. 

Geneva, Sept. 13, 1870. 

". . . The French empire has gone like a dream. No 
voice to say a word for it. The Papacy goes the same way, 
at least its temporal power. Both have provoked their 
fate, and Christianity is the better for it. The world and 
the Devil went a little too far this year, at both Paris and 
Rome, and have come to great grief. I shall consider it 
a blessing to our social life, even if it come in a sharp dis- 
guise, if the influence of Paris be so broken that it no longer 
controls the world's society, and I am willing to sacrifice 
something in the gayeties, and bonnets, and charming 
toilettes of our girls. Even if Paris be bombarded I shall 
not grieve greatly over the vandalism. 

They have not called upon mc to come to Paris. I 
expect the chairman of the American Ambulance Corps 
skedaddled before he got my letter. Communications seem 
now to be cut, and I breathe freely. I know it would have 
been bad to do hospital work, before a winter's work in 
Rome, but I could not help offering to go, so sad were the 
tales of unrelieved suffering. Now especially, since the ma- 
turing of affairs in Rome, I am glad not to be called on. I do 
not anticipate resistance in Rome and hope to hear in a day 
(;r two of its quiet occupation by the Italian forces, which 
will be the surest safeguard against revolution within." 

My wife had a friend in Paris of whom she was ver}' 
fond, Miss Gabrielle Goffard, a niece of M. Chez d'est Angcs, 
who had a lovely country place at Ville Neuve St. George, 
where we once spent a night, as well as a fine house in Paris. 



He was not only a distinguished lawyer, a senator, and a 
commander of the Legion of Honor, but he was a collector 
of objets d'art, and his house was crowded with splendid 
things. When the Goffards returned to Paris after the 
war was over they found their own house uninjured, but 
there was little left of Ville Neuve St. George — every bit 
of furniture, bronzes, pictures, and porcelain was either 
broken or burned. 

When I first visited Italy, in 1859, war was imminent, 
France and Italy being united against Austria, a.nd as I 
passed through north Italy I saw troops drilling in every 
town; in a previous chapter I have spoken of seeing Napo- 
leon in Paris, on his w^ay to the great victories of Magenta 
and Solferino. But there was to be a different finish to 
the war of 1870, though Italy was again to come out on 
top. The temporal power of the Pope, long tottering to 
its fall, had been sustained only by the artificial prop of the 
French army, and when Napoleon was obliged to withdraw 
his troops from Rome to use them against the Prussians 
every one knew that the end of the Papal States was near. 

In August, 1870 — a memorable date in the history of 
Italy — I was staying with my family in Bellagio at the 
Villa Giulia, a palace on Lake Como belonging to the King 
of Belgium, at that time used as a hotel. It was a lovely 
place, surrounded by lawns and gardens, shaded by ancient 
horse-chestnut trees, and there was such a variety of nice 
subjects that I spent most of my time sketching. I re- 
member making a study of a group of peasants' cottages, 
with ears of yellow corn festooned between the windows 
in their gray stone walls. Over my head, where I sat, a 
large fig-tree spread its branches and every now and then 
dropped a luscious purple fig on the pavement beside me, 
all ready to be eaten — in fact, they almost dropped into 
my mouth. 



Broad grassy avenues led away from the villa, out to the 
top of the cliffs overlooking the lake, and at the end of one 
of these avenues I made another sketch, where two weather- 
beaten stone posts, flanked by giant cypresses, guarded 
a flight of stone steps that led down to the water. From 
this spot there was a divine view, across Como to Cadenab- 
bia and the blue mountains towering above it; but the 
view from the other end of the avenue was just as lovely. 
Here was a little Greciar^ temple, a sort of summer-house, 
and I was sitting there one peaceful August morning paint- 
ing a little picture — I have it still, a small steamer plough- 
ing its way across the blue water, leaving a broad wake 
behind it. I was thinking what a long, pleasant summer 
lay before me — thinking of anything rather than war — 
when a telegram was brought to me summoning me to Rome. 
War had been declared by the Italian Government against 
the Papal States, troops were marching toward Rome and 
were about to attack it. 

As there was at that time no other ofFicial in Rome rep- 
resenting the United States, I felt it my duty to go there 
at once; so my dreams of a long summer hohday were 
dashed and I started for Rome, leaving my family at Bel- 

All went quietly and well until the third morning, when 
the train stopped at a little station and the passengers — 
there were but three — were told that the train could go 
no further, as the tracks had been torn up by the Italians. 
We found ourselves on the Campagna, about twenty-five 
miles from Rome; it was a deserted spot and there were 
no signs of a conversance of any sort and nothing to be had 
to eat; but after exploring the neighborhood I found a 
wretched little hut, inhabited by a ragged old peasant, 
owner of a rickety box-wagon without springs or scats, 
drawn by a half-starved horse, whose dilapidated harness 



was tied together with bits of string. As I was at his mercy, 
I had to promise him an enormous price, I have forgotten 
what, to induce him to take us to Rome. Then I returned 
to the train and offered the hospitality of the wagon to 
my fellow travellers, which they were very glad to accept 
and cheerfully shared the cost of the wagon with me. They 
were pleasant young fellows, who proved to be connected 
with the Austrian Legation at Rome, a little patronizing 
in their manner, asking me how I expected to get into Rome. 
I told them that I had my American passport and thought 
I should have no difficulty, but they seemed doubtful and 
assured me of their help and protection, as being in the 
diplomatic service they would certainly have no trouble. 

The driver put strips of rough board across the wagon 
for seats, and we filled the rest of it with our luggage. It 
was now about ten o'clock and we went on our way. We 
had had no breakfast except some luscious black and yellow 
grapes that a boy brought us on the train, so after a while 
we were glad to see a little "osteria" with a bush over the 
door, but it proved to have no wine, nor even bread. The 
only thing they could give us was three of the smallest 
eggs I have ever eaten, and when I asked for salt they 
brought it on a vine leaf, perfectly black, just as it had 
been dug from the soil; so we stood in the road and quickly 
devoured our little eggs, saltless and breadless. We could 
not, like Robert Louis Stevenson's amateur emigrant, "line 
ourselves" very comfortably with these eggs, and we got 
nothing more to eat that day. It was scorching hot and 
the long white road was dusty. The Campagna at that 
season was burned to a uniform tint of light-tan color, with 
occasionally a strip of green along the water-courses, but 
it was beautiful as always, the wide yellow plain dissolv- 
ing into the blue and pink of the distant mountains. When 



at last we reached the old Nomcntano bridge we saw Rome, 
dominated by the dome of St. Peter's, and the Italian army, 
sixty thousand strong, their tents dotting the hills and regi- 
ments of cavalry drilling on the plain. 

All was bustle and confusion at the Porta Pia, where 
we wished to enter. The front of the gateway and the walls 
on either side of it were piled high with sand-bags, and in 
front of the gate itself and ahiiost obscuring it was an earth- 
work also strengthened by sand-bags. After a long alter- 
cation with our driver as to the amount of the "buona 
mano," which in Italy no matter how much you pay is 
never enough, one glance at my passport by the ofhcials 
assured me of a prompt and polite invitation to enter; but 
when my Austrian acquaintances presented their passports 
their reception was quite different, so our relative positions 
were altered, and much to their chagrin and in spite of my 
entreaties and assurances they were obh'ged to remain out- 
side of the walls all night, and when I met them in Rome 
the next day their patronage of me had ceased. But they 
were good fellows all the same, and I recall our long day 
together with pleasure in the retrospect. 

Having my apartment all ready at 64 Via Sistina, I felt 
quite at home. I had my breakfast at the Caffe Greco and 
my dinner at the Hotel d'Angleterre, and I allowed the 
keeper of the hotel, as I was his guest, to put up the Amer- 
ican flag, which he seemed to think would be a protection 
from the northern invaders. There were no travellers and 
few Americans; all the studios were closed; one could not 
communicate with the outer world at all, either by letter 
or telegraph, and I did not receive any word from my family 
for several weeks— Rome was hermetically scaled. It was 
dull and very quiet, but I rather enjoyed it, for I had plenty 
of time to sketch; and there was little else to do, except 



to interview stranded Americans who wanted the protec- 
tion of the American flag; it was surprising how many turned 
up whom I had never heard of. Among those who asked 
for protection were the American students at the American 
College and at the Propaganda, who, of course, had a right 
to it; and I was as liberal as I could be in according every- 
body such privileges, but I had to draw the line at the ap- 
phcation of an American lady, the wife of a distinguished 
Roman official, for she was no longer an American citizen. 
She was very indignant and threatened to complain to 

In the summer in most of the Italian cities the shops 
are closed nearly all day, except early in the morning and 
in the evening, and the streets are deserted, save for a few 
people crawling along the shady side of the street, because 
the Italians fear the sunshine in summer as much as the 
shade in winter. But even then Rome was unusually quiet. 
We supposed, as it proved later, that the people as a whole 
were in favor of the Italian Government, but there were 
no demonstrations or disturbance, and although the troops 
were busy drilling they showed no evidence of excite- 

The day before the attack came, I went to the grounds 
of the Villa Medici, to the top of a hill where one had a 
view of the encampment of the whole Italian army. This 
hill is apparently an artificial one, covered with trees and 
approached by a long flight of steps from the *'Bosco," 
adjoining the other grounds and gardens of the Villa Medici, 
which is occupied by the French Academy of Rome; over 
the door of the academy is this inscription : 

"Napoleon le Grand 
Les Arts reconuaissant." 



The Bosco is a lovely wild overgrown spot, gay uith flowers 
in spring, especially cyclamen, and giving charming vistas 
between gnarled ilex trees over the old walls of Rome and 
the Villa Borghese — the very place where one would expect 
to see nymphs and satyrs sporting in the shade. Ahhough 
I never met any such charming creatures, one seldom went 
there without finding some artist sketching, or posing a 
model under the trees. 

When I arrived at the top of this hill, I found there a 
number of Papal Zouaves with field-glasses, watching the 
Italian troops and discussing the result, as they expected 
an attack soon. The Zouaves were attractive, dashing 
young fellows, a cosmopolitan lot of all nations, Americans, 
English, Irish, German, and French, many of them of noble 
families. These boys chatted very pleasantly, were gay 
and hopeful and did not seem at all cast down at the prospect 
of a battle with a great army. Poor fellows, they did not 
realize what humiliation a day would bring forth for them. 

Early next morning at five o'clock, on September 20, 
1870, heavy cannonading began. Calvi became much ex- 
cited, and said that he felt very warlike and that it was 
grand, and suggested that we should go up on the roof and 
see the fun; but when we reached there, although the noise 
was deafening, for the firing was quite near, we could see 
nothing because of the intervening buildings. In a few 
minutes something whizzed through the air right between 
us and he exclaimed: 

"What was that?" 

I said, "A bullet." 

Whereupon he said he did not feel so much interested 
after all and suggested that we descend, which we accord- 
ingly did, and as we went down through the skylight we 
saw where a bullet had lodged in the casing through which 



we had just come up. We found later that a shell had burst 
in the Terrys' apartment and done a good deal of damage. 
Calvi and I then walked out through the Via Sistina 
to the Piazza Barberini, where the ground was strew^n with 
bits of shell, some of which we picked up. The firing by 
this time had ceased; it lasted in all only about two hours. 
From the Piazza w^e walked up toward the Porta Pia and 
on the way passed the Villa Buonaparte, through the grounds 
of which the Italians had entered at ten o'clock by a gap- 
ing fissure that they had soon made in the old Roman wall, 
which was not at all prepared for modern artillery. I saw 
there a Papal Zouave lying dead on his back under an ilex 
bush near the gate. Nearby w-as one of those long, narrow, 
straight, paved streets with a tiny sidewalk and high walls 
on either side, and this was lined on both sides as far as 
one could see, perhaps a quarter of a mile, with Italian 
bersaglieri, in single file, wdth their rifles grounded. Pres- 
ently there appeared the Papal Zouaves, without arms, 
marching tw^o and tw o, very much dishevelled, among them 
my acquaintances of the day before; and as they passed 
the Italians kept shouting, '*Viva Italia!" and "Verdi!" 
which stands for Vittorio Emanuele Re d' Italia, and mak- 
ing a singular rolhng sound under their tongues that was 
like distant thunder, spitting on the Zouaves and thump- 
ing the butts of their guns on their toes and offering them 
every indignity. It was pitiful to see these poor fellows 
hopping about to avoid the blows; it w'as shocking and 
humihating. Among them was a young man whom I had 
often seen, Charette, who belonged to a noble family — 
one lock of his black hair was perfectly w^hite and he w^as 
said to be very proud of this, as it had descended in his 
family as a distinguishing mark for many generations: he, 
poor fellow, was hopping about and trying to protect his 



toes with the rest. The next day the Zouaves were all as- 
sembled in the great Square of St. Peter's and expel Ic-d 
from Rome and we never saw them more. The whole afTair 
was very different from the gallant defense of the Quattro 
Venti of Rome by Garibaldi in 1849. 

As soon as it was known that Rome had surrendered, 
there was a perfect irruption of Italian flags; the colors 
seemed to float from every window and above every tower — 
the people had evidently been making and secreting them 
for a long while.. Crowds paraded up and down the streets, 
mad with joy. The soldiers, looking very friendly and 
cheerful, were welcomed and embraced, kissed and cheered 
by every one they met, and the public squares were soon 
filled with cavalry horses tethered to every projection, 
and piles of hay and other fodder scattered all over the 
pavements. It looked like war, although there had been 
little of a real battle. 

The streets soon assumed their normal condition, ex- 
cept that there were no more gorgeous cardinal's carriages 
or papal processions; but, instead, the Royal Guard of 
Prince Humbert, mostly Roman nobles, in their gay uni- 
forms and mounted on splendid horses, or troops of Ixt- 
saglieri, with their great bhick hats plumed with cocks' 
feathers, trotting along at double quick — as the old song says : 

"Voi altri bersaglieri, 
Ch'avete le gambc buonc, 
Andiamo pigliar Roma!" 

Yes, Rome had changed. It had jumped from the mid- 
dle ages into the present and, alas ! lost much of its pic- 
turesqueness. But there is no doubt that the people were 
delighted at the change. The vote for the Italian Govern- 
ment was forty-five thousand for and forty-five against. 



With the advent of the Italians the population was 
soon increased by sixty thousand and it was difficult to 
house the newcomers; so much so, that there was a wild 
speculation in land and building. New shops were opened 
and remained open on Sunday — Papal Rome was the most 
moral city, in appearance, that I have ever known — in- 
deed, ultimately so many houses were built that the supply 
outran the demand, land decreased in value, and some of 
the new buildings were never completed. In this specu- 
lation many of the nobility were involved with disastrous 
results, among them the Borghese, who, I understand, 
were almost ruined. 

Rome was not actually made the capital of Italy until 
the next summer, and then there were great rejoicings 
throughout the country. We were in Venice at the time. 
Flags were hung from every window, meeting and crossing 
in an archway over the narrow streets, San Marco was 
wonderfully illuminated, and everywhere little printed 
bills were stuck up expressing sympathy with Victor Em- 
manuel. One of these read: "Glory to God for having 
given such long Hfe to Pius IX that he is able to see Rome 
made the capital of Italy." 

After the taking of Rome the Vatican was closed to 
sightseers, and only a few permits were given me by Car- 
dinal Antonelli; so few that it made it rather awkward 
for me having to discriminate among all the Americans 
who clamored for them. 

An old prophecy had foretold the destruction of Rome 
by an earthquake on the tenth of November, 1870, and a 
good many people were really anxious until that day had 
passed with nothing worse than a very bad thunder-storm. 
Another prophecy declared that no Pope could rule longer 
than St. Peter's twenty-five years, so although Pio Nono 



was Pope much longer than that, they said that it did not 
really count, as he had lost his temporal power. 

King Victor Emmanuel never came to live in Rome, but 
merely visited it for a short time, wlien he had an uproari- 
ously enthusiastic reception. I saw him drive through the 
Via Sistina, accompanied by a mihtary guard. He was a 
very fat, red-faced man, of regal manner, bowing grandly 
right and left as he passed. 

Shortly after Rome was taken, I was promoted from 
being Consul to the Papal States to be Consul-General for 
Italy at Rome. This increased mj' work a great deal, as 
the consul-general has charge of all communications from 
the consuls, including the forwarding of all accounts of 
their offices to the department of state at Washington, 
and he has to see that all such reports are correct before 
forwarding them — at least that was the way in my tinie. 
Mr. Marsh, the American Minister, resided in Florence 
and did not come to Rome until the following year; so I 
still remained in charge of the Legation and attended to 
any business connected therewith, both with the Vatican 
and the Italian Government. 

One of these extra duties of mine, usually performed 
by an accredited minister, was presenting Americans to 
Prince Humbert and Princess Margherita, who had come 
at once to Rome and estabhshed their court at the Quirinal. 
I presented a great many that winter, and I also continued 
to present my countrymen to the Pope. Both Prince Hum- 
bert and Princess Margherita were simple and gracious at 
their receptions; she struck me as especially charmmg— 
young and handsome, with a most sweet expression. 

I had a private audience with Prince Humbert, gomg 
one afternoon by appointment to the Quirinal. After regis- 
tering my name in an anteroom, an attendant took me to 



the prince's library, where the prince was sitting alone; 
he immediately got up and shook hands with me and asked 
me to take a seat, and, as he was smoking, offered me a cigar. 
We talked about twenty minutes before I got up to go, when 
he walked with me to the open fireplace, where we warmed 
ourselves and he continued to smoke and talk, and when 
I left he went ahead of me to the door and opened it him- 
self. It was just like any pleasant call of one American 
gentleman on another. Outside a single attendant was 
waiting and walked with me to the gate. I often saw Prince 
Humbert riding at the Hunt on the Campagna. The horse 
that he habitually rode was an immense animal, seventeen 
hands high, that looked as if it could, jump anything, but 
I heard that he was not allowed to take any chances and 
that he was obliged to ride with circumspection, so royalty 
has its drawbacks in this as in many other ways. 

The opening of the first Parliament in Rome was an 
important event which many grandees attended. The Em- 
peror of Brazil was present in the royal box. He was a 
fine-looking man in civilian dress set off by a pair of bright 
green gloves with immensely long fingers. 

Mrs. Armstrong to Her Mother 

Rome, April 17, 1O71. 
". . . Last Thursday I was presented to the Pope. I 
went with the Wetherills and took fittle Margaret. A great 
many persons were presented; we all waited in a large 
hall, and the Pope came in and went around the room, 
saying a few words to each person as their names were told 
him. He took fittle Margaret right up in his arms, and 
then she kissed his hand. Then he went to one end of the 
room and made a little address and blessed us all, and all 
the rosaries, crosses, etc., that we had with us, and our 



families and our travels. I had a number of rosaries, whicli 
the servants at home will vakic. He is a very fine-looking 
old man, sweet and pleasant in his manner. His eye is 
bright and keen still and he does not look at all infirm or 

The next evening Maitland and I went to a party at 
the Quirinal. When we first went in we were received by 
the Princess, and after a little while she led the way, through 
a handsome suite of rooms, to a pretty little theatre where 
we had private theatricals, a little Italian play and two 
in French. The acting was very good indeed, and between 
the acts ices were handed. When the play was over the 
Princess went first and we all followed her through some 
other handsome rooms to the supper-room, an immense 
place with a table all around three sides, so that we could 
all sit down. We had a delicious supper, the waiters were 
all behind the tables and handed everything. After supper 
the Princess bid good evening and left first, then we all 
came away. 

The other morning, before I was up, Mrs. Wilcoxen 
rushed over to ask me to come at once to see her baby as 
it was very ill. I hurried, but before I got there the baby 
was better. I don't know what they would do if they were 
to lose that baby." 

Mrs. Wilcoxen and Miss Niles were Americans, the 
daughters of Doctor Niles, who left them an enormous 
fortune, but only for life unless they had children. .Mrs. 
Wilcoxen had been married for many years when the child 
of whom my wife speaks was born. If this little heir had 
not appeared on the scene, the property would have been 
inherited by a cousin, a young man who was with them in 
Rome. My wife once laughingly said to Miss Niles: "I 



should think you would be afraid your cousin would want 
to poison the baby." But she answered quite seriously, 
"Oh, no, he is Jar too good!" 

Miss Niles afterward married General Badeau, and her 
wedding in New York was a tremendous affair. She and 
her sister were twins and were supposed to be the originals 
of the twins in Eugene Sue's "Wandering Jew." 

The Reverend Robert J. Nevin was appointed rector of 
the American Church in Rome about the same time that I 
went there in 1869, and remained there until his death, in 
1906. He was about thirty, having lately entered the minis- 
try, his ordination being delayed by his service in the Civil 
War as captain of a battery in the United States army, 
where he distinguished himself. He was a charming and 
interesting gentleman, a gallant, manly fellow, full of enthu- 
siasm and energy. 

The Papal government did not allow any Protestant 
services to be held inside the walls of Rome, except at some 
of the foreign legations, so the American Chapel was out- 
side the walls, very near the Porta del Popolo and opposite 
the entrance to the Villa Borghese. It was a large upper 
room, furnished with chancel and altar, ahvays well fdled 
and in the season thronged with Americans. When the 
Itahan Government came to Rome, Doctor Nevin decided 
to raise funds to purchase land and build a church within 
the walls, to be called St. Paul's. There is no church inside 
the walls of Rome dedicated to St. Paul, and Pere Hya- 
cinthe remarked that it was strange that the apostle should 
have found his way back into the Eternal City "via Amer- 
ica." When it came to buying the land in Rome and a 
site on the Via Nazionale was selected, it was found neces- 
sary to buy a much larger plot than was needed for the 
church alone; so several of the American residents clubbed 



together, myself among the number, and took a deed for 
the rest of the plot. I remained an owner of this bit of 
the Eternal City for several years, but on leaving Rome 
I sold my share to WiUiam Haseltine, another of the orig- 
inal purchasers. In digging the foundation of the church 
many interesting objects were discovered, among them some 
very large amphora?, one of which was presented to Grace 
Church, New York, I beheve by Miss Wolfe, and now stands 
in the rectory grounds. It is a curious change of scene for 
this old jar, that once heard the rumble of Roman chariot 
wheels and now echoes to the jangling bells of Broadway's 

Miss Catherine Lorillard Wolfe was a hberal friend 
of St. Paul's and also of Grace Church, when Bishop Henry 
C. Potter was rector. Doctor Nevin and Doctor Potter 
were very intimate and in Rome were seen together con- 
stantly. The Romans nicknamed them "Romulus and 
Remus," because they were both "suckled by a Wolf." 

I held every position in the American Church at Rome 
except that of rector. I w^as clerk of the vestry, treasurer, 
senior warden, and vestryman, and in Doctor Nevin's ab- 
sence had to hunt up stray clergymen to officiate in his place. 

Nevin had hosts of warm friends and a large acquaint- 
ance among distinguished people throughout Europe. Not 
only was he celebrated for his genial hospitality — always 
giving his guests the choicest vintages, for he was one of 
the best judges of wine in Italy — but no man was ever more 
kind-hearted and generous to the poor of all denominations. 
There was a great deal of typhoid one winter in Rome and 
Mr. Nevin spent night after night sitting up with sick people, 
for we had no trained nurses in those days; not long after 
this, he raised some money to get trained nurses in Rome, 
such as they already had in England. 



He was a discriminating collector of objects of art in 
a large way, making the most of the great opportunities 
he had during his long residence in Italy, which he knew 
from end to end, and bringing together many fine pictures 
of the primitive school, as well as books, marbles, china, 
glass — anything that caught his fancy. I believe that for 
a Bellini of his, inherited by a relation in America, he was 
offered two hundred thousand dollars. He was a fine horse- 
man and together we explored the Campagna pretty thor- 
oughly, but he did not think it expedient for a clergyman 
to ride at the hunt and never did so. He was a mighty 
hunter and traveller throughout Europe, in India, and the 
\\ ilds of America and Mexico, spending several vacations 
hunting grizzlies in the Rocky Mountains. In South Africa 
he knew Cecil Rhodes, who gave him every facility for 
hunting big game, and one fine summer he spent in the 
Olympic Mountains with Waldo Story. As a result his 
collection of heads and hunting trophies was nearly un- 

I have many pleasant associations with Doctor Nevin. 
One summer we took a long walk, with Henry Van Schaick 
of New York, through the mountains from IschI, starting 
at dayhght and getting back to IschI at eleven at night, 
having accomphshed forty-two miles. We visited the beau- 
tiful Konigsee together, and saw a chamois far up the moun- 
tainside, and we went to Munich and Augsburg and picked 
up some nice bits of old stained glass. The Franco-Prus- 
sian War was just breaking out and we found all the pic- 
tures and statues in the art galleries of Munich had been 
moved away and hidden, for fear that the French would 
imitate the great Napoleon and carry them off to France — 
the Germans were not then so sure of the conquest that 
they afterward achieved. 



Doctor Nevin to D. M. A., Rome 

New ^'ork, June, 1872. 
... Oh my dear fellow, you cannot imagine how 
infinitely flat N. Y. society is after Rome. No lions, no 
distinguished literati, artists, or soldiers. Ail young people 
who talk about the same things and are apt to give you 
their impressions of the Rhine and the Colosseum, as a 
novelty in conversation, if they happen to have been across 
the Atlantic. Be careful. Do nothing that will precipitate 
you rashly into this city. 

Doctor Nevin to D. M. A., New York 

Rome, March, 18-4. 

"... Last Sunday I was forced into a controversial 
attitude by a series of miserably evasive and disingenuous 
sermons which M'gr Capel has been preaching. I think 
I have brought around to their bearings two or three women 
whom Capel's eyes had been unsettling in their faitli, and 
General McCIellan came in to-day to thank me. I met 
Capel at Mrs. Bruce's that evening — a large party, M'gr 
Howard, now Archb'p, being present. They being two to 
one, and Bishops at that, they undertook to put me down, 
the more so as they were trying to capture two of the guests 
present. After they got tired of firing bombs at me I felt 
free to prick them with uncomfortable questions. 

As soon as the soup was off, Mrs. Bruce began by say- 
ing that she heard M'gr Capel hadn't done much this trip, 
that it had hardly paid him for coming. But he assured 
her he had seven persons under instruction, one an impor- 
tant man, a member of the Gov't, and turned to me with: 

*I really think, my dear Mr. Nevin, the wisest thing 
you could do would be to become the eighth.' 



I contented myself with saying that I hoped, in the 
interests of Christianity, all the seven were Unitarians 
or Quakers, (in allusion to Mrs. Hicks, who is reported to 
have entered our Church and to be on the point of marry- 
ing Dr. Howland,) which he took perfectly and seemed to 
enjoy in private, no one else understanding it. 

Theodore Roosevelt has promised us $500. Crownin- 
shield is my staunchest friend; there is something very 
manly and true about him. Ticknor runs the Union Chapel 
under Mrs. Gould. No one married here since Miss Craw- 
ford, though at one time we had some hopes of Wurts. Miss 
Annie, that was, is said to be keeping up a perpetual cooing 
with her young man in a cottage by the sea near Naples.'* 

Via Napoli 58, Rome, MaVch, 1898. 

"... Pierpont Morgan is here and has been with me 
the last hour. It is wonderful the certainty of his think- 
ing in business matters. He is chairman of our trustees. 
We have had no meeting for three years, and a lot of ques- 
tions had come up that perplexed me; he settled every- 
thing at sight, hitting instantly conclusions which it had 
taken me much thinking to reach. It is discouraging. How- 
ever, I can ride a horse or shoot a rifle better than he can. 

Ward is mounting my S. African heads in London, stein- 
bock, roan and sable antelope, hartebeeste, wildebeeste, 
and giraff^e; I foolishly did not bring back any zebra skins. 
Do come and spend next winter in Rome." 

Rome, July 4, 1900. 
When the glass was put in Grace Church Dr. 

had conceived the idea of having each window by a diff'er- 
ent artist, and in a diff'erent style, 'so as to represent in 
a Catholic way the art of the ages.* I am afraid he has 



not grown much beyond this; hkc many great men he sticks 
to his ideals though they might better Ix- relegated to the 

I have the Fourth of July dinner— the German Am- 
bassador, the Ministers of England, France, Belgium, etc., 
and Baron Blanc, the Itahan sec. of foreign affairs. I hope 
they will all keep the peace. The Chinese business has 
made things very sensitive over here. England begins 
to see how heavy will be her bill for tlie Chamberlain raid 
on the Transvaal, and Russia and Germany are sailing 
ahead, delighted to see England in a back seat, and awak- 
ening mistrust all along the Hne. Don't invest in foreign 
securities just now, and keep our Government out of any 
combined war on China. 

Haseltine's death has caused a sad gap here. Give my 
love to Marshall and cheer him up, and greet all the good 

Affectionately yours, R. J. Ne\in." 

St. Paul's is a fine Gothic edifice, built from Street's 
designs, the stained glass by Clayton & Bell, and the mosaics 
by Salviati of Venice from the- designs of Burne-Jones — 
altogether a noble monument to the memory of Doctor 
Nevin its founder. He died alone in Mexico, where he was 
travelling when his end came; I do not even know where 
he is buried. It was sad that he could not lie in Rome, 
the scene of his long, useful, and happy life, in the lovely 
spot hallowed by the ashes of Shelley and Keats, under 
the shadow of the dark cypress trees and the pyramid of 
Caius Cestius. 




E le campane si sentono sonare, 

E si sente sonare in cielo e in Roma. 

One of my first duties on reaching Rome in October, 
1869, was to care for the effects of Thomas H. Hotchkiss, 
an American artist who had lately died in Sicily. I had 
never known Hotchkiss but he had many warm friends, 
among them Coleman and Vedder, who spoke of him with 
admiration and affection. He was a landscape painter, 
and his pictures of the Roman Campagna, to which he 
devoted years of study, are not only true to nature but 
wonderful in drawing and color and filled with the most 
dehghtful feeling and sentiment. Even his important pic- 
tures were painted, I beheve, entirely out of doors. He 
was quiet and retiring and but httle known, because he 
was absorbed in study from nature, and he painted few 
large pictures; indeed, he produced little in that way until 
a year or two before his death. When he was just on the 
threshold of fame he died suddenly, leaving literally thou- 
sands of sketches. He had a great future before him and was 
one of the most promising artists America has produced. 

I know httle of his life and learned that little from the 
friends who loved him. He was born at Hudson, New York, 
of very poor and very ignorant parents, and his childhood 
was not a happy one. Even when very young he showed 
talent for painting, in which it is needless to say he had 
no encouragement. He once went to a country fair and 



bought some paints and brushes, but when he tof)k them 
home his family destroyed them, thinking that they were 
implements for gambling. He was still a little boy whi-n 
they put him to work in a briek-yard, and being a delicate 
child the hard work and exposure, and perhaps insufTicieni 
food, planted the seeds of the malady that ultimately caused 
his death. As soon as he was able to escape from this slavery 
he fled to New York in opposition to the wishes of his family, 
who cut him off and never had anything more to do with 
him. He was friendless, but happening to know the pic- 
tures of the late A. B. Durand, he appealed to him, and 
Mr. Durand befriended him and allowed him to work in 
his studio. How and why he came to Rome, w hich thence- 
forward was his home, I do not know. One of his lirsl- 
rate things, a view of the Tor degli Schiavi in the Gimpagna, 
was bought by the late Charles H. Marshall, of New ^'ork; 
and another, a mountain view near Perugia, is owned by 
Wilham H. Herriman, of Rome. But his chief fame was 
among artists. 

Some of his finest w'ork was done at Taormina, where 
a favorite subject was that most beautiful ruin in the world, 
the Greek Theatre. A few of its marble columns arc still 
standing in front of the great amphitheatre, but its chief 
glory is the wonderful view seen through and beyond its 
gigantic red brick arches and walls, relieved against the 
turquoise sea and sky. The lovely coast-line of the straits 
of Messina winds away for miles; Point Naxos of the Greeks 
is in the foreground; and beyond lies the broad undulatinu 
plain, variegated with the many-tinted verdure of almond 
orchards and vineyards; and still beyond are the slopes 
and peaks of Mount Etna, rising ten thousand feet above 
the sea, shining white with snow like Mont Blanc, with 
wreaths of smoke from the crater drifting across the sky— 



altogether, one of the most entrancing and romantic views 
on earth, never the same, always changing, always beau- 

It was here that Hotchkiss was spending the summer 
of 1869 with John Rollin Tilton, the artist, when he died 
of a hemorrhage of the lungs. It was at night, Tilton heard 
a shght sound and went to him, and he died in a few mo- 
ments in his arms. When I was in Taormina a few years 
ago I asked the old **custode" if he remembered Thomas 
Hotchkiss. His face hghted when he said that he well re- 
membered "Signor Tommaso," and also "il signor inglese," 
meaning Tilton. Saying, "I will show you where he lived 
and died," he led me to a small stone house that stands on 
the highest point of the theatre, and showed me the room, 
now used as a museum for art objects found in the place and 
filled with delicate broken bas-rehefs, fragments of statues 
and marbles, jars and other ancient bits — all quiet and 
peaceful, the windows looking out over the wide landscape 
that he knew so well, a fit setting for the spot where that 
fine soul passed away. He fills a nameless grave at Mes- 
sina, for it was never marked by a stone and the earth- 
quake has probably obfiterated the cemetery, but his body 
has mingled with the soil of the Italy that he loved and 
depicted so beautifully. He was a great painter and it is 
pathetic that so few know anything about him, not even 
his name. 

When I came to look into his aff"airs I found that he 
had some debts in Rome, so I had an auction sale to which 
all the artists flocked, for he had collected many valuable 
things during his long residence in Rome. The prices ob- 
tained were so high that a sufficient sum was soon realized 
to pay all his debts, and the rest of his things were sent to 
New York and sold by the public administrator. As Hotch- 



kiss was little known there, they sold for trilling sums, but 
this made no diflerencc, as I beheve his family felt so bitterly 
toward his memory that they decHncd to receive the money 
and it went to the State. 

Among his effects were two most interesting pictures, 
attributed to Piero di Cosimo. The National Gallery had 
offered Hotchkiss a large price for them, which he had re- 
fused, and when his sale was held in Rome many of the 
artists hoped to buy them, and were much disappointed 
to find that they were, to be sent to New York. I wrote 
to my friend Robert Gordon to look out for them and buy 
them, which he did, and presented them to the Metropolitan 
Museum. This was during the reign of General di Cesnola, 
who appreciated tliem so little that he put them in the 
cellar, where they remained for more than thirty years en- 
tirely forgotten, until about ten years ago, when they were 
discovered and brought to light, being heralded as a re- 
markable discovery and making quite a sensation. No 
one knew where they had come from. As I was familiar 
with them — they had hung in my office in Rome for nearly 
a year — I wrote an account of them in the New York Times, 
and they were pronounced by experts to be certainly by 
Piero di Cosimo. They may now be seen in the Museum, 
and are in excellent preservation, never having been re- 
stored. They are painted on wooden panels each about 
eight feet long; one a woodland scene, with satyrs and 
monkeys, and the other a rocky shore, with figures landing 
from galleys. Browning lived in the Palazzo Barberini 
when Hotchkiss had his studio there, so that he doubtless 
knew Hotchkiss, and I have amused myself by thinking 
that his poem, "Over the sea our galleys went," might have 
been inspired by one of these interesting pictures. 

Among other valuable things in Hotchkiss's studio were 



several very large and beautiful Etruscan vases, which had 
been acquired by him in a curious way. He happened to 
be sketching on the Campagna one day, near where some 
men were digging out an old tomb, looking for buried 
treasure. When they left in the evening, he entered the 
tomb and chanced to lean against the wall, which gave way 
and disclosed another chamber containing these magnificent 
vases. He immediately returned to Rome, got a cab, drove 
out there and secured them. These vases were also sent to 
New York and what became of them I do not know ; they 
were probably bought by some one who did not reahze their 
value, which was a pity, as they were museum pieces. 

Speaking of the Metropohtan Museum reminds me 
of a peaceful Sunday morning in Rome, when I was sitting 
in the garden of the Palazzo Zuccari, my little children 
playing about me — a garden surrounded by high moss- 
grown walls, over which hung orange trees covered with 
fruit, with beds of purple violets under them. From the 
garden some steps led down into the Via Gregoriana, through 
a green door set in the open mouth of a huge rococo head; 
any one famihar with Rome will remember it. 

I had been thinking for some time that an art museum 
in New York was a sorely needed thing, and on this lovely 
morning the idea came to me that it would be a good plan 
to write to Robert Gordon, in New York, and tell him what 
I thought a museum ought to be and urge him to take the 
matter up; so I inflicted on him about twenty pages. Not 
long after, I heard from him that the good work was really 
to be begun, and when I returned to New York I found 
the Museum already estabhshed in the old Douglas Cruger 
house in Fourteenth Street. Of course, when I wrote to 
Gordon the project was already in the air, but it is a pleasure 
to feel that I was one of the first to suggest it. 



It was a pity that a scheme I had at that time could 
not have been carried out. I suggested that a room in the 
new Museum should be decorated and furnished like a real 
"cinque cento" room, where various articles of that period 
could be arranged as if they were actually in use. As I 
wrote to Mr. Gordon: "The ordinary museum displays 
its treasures in a white-walled room, with huge windows 
letting in a blaze of light; here in a row of prosaic glass 
cases the poor antiques lie and shine like flowers torn up 
by the roots." 

Such rooms as I had in mind, showing the every-day 
life of a period, are to be seen in many museums now; but 
if the Metropolitan had taken up my idea then, and lx)ught 
the necessary fittings, such as woodwork, stained glass, 
tapestry, etc., many rare and wonderful things could have 
been secured — such objets d'art were cheap fifty years ago. 

Mr. Gordon was one of the founders of the Metropolitan 
Museum and the treasurer for many years. He is one of 
my oldest friends. In a letter I got from him two or three 
years ago. he mentions that "the first dollar ever given to 
the Museum" had been given by him. Not long ago he 
gave the Museum a fine picture by Wyant, at the same 
time presenting a beautiful picture by Sanford Gilford to 
the Century Club, of which he is a member. Mr. Gordon, 
Joseph H. Choate, and Theodore Weston are the only ones 
left of the original founders of the Museum. 

In 1869, Rome was the Mecca of American artists and 
there was a large colony of them there, many of whom were 
very successful, as American art was then the fashion. 
Among the painters were Elihu Vedder, Charles Caryl 
Coleman, William Haseltinc, Charles Dix, George H. ^'ewcll, 
George Inness, T. Buchanan Read, Frederick Crown in- 
shield, William Graham, William Gedney Buncc, John 



RoIIin Tilton, George Healy, and Messrs. Freeman, Terry, 
and Chapman, about most of whom I shall have something 
to say in detail. The two last named were members of 
the old Sketch Club of New York, out of which grew the 
Century Club. 

Hcaly painted a nice portrait of my little Margaret 
in Rome, more successful than his portraits of children 
usually were, though he painted men well. She did not 
mind sitting, for he kept her amused in all sorts of funny 
ways, such as wearing a pen-wiper in the shape of a doll 
on top of his head all the time he was painting.^ Healy 
painted any number of celebrities, among others Pio Nono. 
I got Mrs. Freeman to take a cast of little Margaret's hand 
in plaster and I have it still — a dear little hand. 

The sculptors included William W. Story, Randolph 
Rogers, Franklin Simmons, Miss Harriet Hosmer, and many 
others— the late lamented Rhinehart being the most promis- 
ing and talented of them all. In fact, there were so many 
of them that we thought there was to be a great revival 
of sculpture in America, but none of it came to much. 
Mozier, the American sculptor, who lived in Rome for about 
twenty years, died while he was crossing the St. Gothard 
Pass and was buried in Rome while I was there. 

Miss Hosmer was a pupil of Gibson, the famous Eng- 
lish sculptor. In 1859 I ^^'^^^^ to his studio in Rome to see 
his "Tinted Venus," that everybody was talking about. 
It was making a great sensation in the art world and as 
I was too young not to be influenced by the general opinion 
I was much impressed. It was colored so like life that when 
the man took off the cloth the creature really seemed to 
be alive — it must have been an awful thing! Gibson, I 
fancy, made stacks of money out of it, for he charged seven 
hundred pounds for cutting a copy. 

Randolph Rogers was in his glory in 1869, a handsome, 



shaggy man with a leonine head. He had lately made a 
statue of Nydia, the blind girl of Pompeii, which had a 
great popular success, particularly among Americans, who 
ordered many replicas for their houses. She was depicted 
as listening intently, groping her way with a staff. I once- 
went to his studio and saw seven Nydias, all in a row, all 
listening, all groping, and seven Italian marble-cutters at 
work cutting them out. It was a gruesome sight. 

But Rogers's most profitable trade was in soldiers' monu- 
ments; after the Civil War he had orders from towns all 
over the United States. These monuments were all pretty 
much alike, usually consisting of a shaft in the centre with 
realistic military figures at the four corners, and as they 
were situated far apart and were not likely to be compared 
with one another the figures also were generally "much 
of a muchness," but could always be distinguished from 
each other by the weapons they carried. Infantry, for 
instance, was armed with a rifle; cavalry with a sabre; 
artillery with a rammer; while a naval hero was supported 
by an anchor, or some other nautical emblem. It was part 
of my duty, when a monument was finished, to examine 
it and give a consular certificate, stating that it was the 
work of an American artist resident abroad, in order that 
it might pass through the United States Custom House 
free of duty. So Rogers would show me the work and give 
me the necessary description; but even he himself was 
sometimes confused as to the rank or calling of the various 
figures, particularly if they were not yet armed with their 
distinctive weapons. I remember his once being in doubt 
and calling to his attendant, "Giuseppe, what is this?" 
Whereupon Giuseppe promptly supplied the vacant hand 
with a rammer and Rogers said: "Ah, I see, it is artillery, 
it is all right." 

But he was a good fellow, perfectly frank and straight- 



fonvard about his work, with so many pleasant qualities 
that one readily pardoned him for treating his work rather 
as a trade than an art. He was, I think, entirely devoid 
of artistic feehng in regard to antique things and freely ex- 
pressed his pity for all of us who were wasting our time and 
money in collecting such "objets d'art." I remember once 
showing him a fifteenth century plaque, decorated with a 
graceful little figure, beautifully posed and freely drawn 
by some old painter, and he criticised it mercilessly, seeing 
no beauty in it. 

"Look at that leg!" he said. "How badly drawn it 
is !" — and, in a way, he was right, but to one with the eye 
of an artist it was charming. 

Once at Perugia, where Rogers w^as spending the sum- 
mer with a little colony of American artists, Coleman, 
Yewell, Vedder, and others, all of whom were enthusiastic 
collectors of "roba antica," he and George Inness picked 
up what they considered the most hideous piece of old pot- 
tery imaginable and with much formality presented it, 
as a joke, to one of the ladies of the party; but it turned 
out quite the other way — she was delighted to have it. 

Many of my friends had studios in the Via Margutta, 
a little street running along the foot of the Pincian Hill, 
where there was a settlement of artists from all parts of 
the world. I painted at times in the studios of Coleman 
and Vedder and worked in the evenings in the life school, 
called "Gigi's Academy," which was a good-sized, semi- 
circular amphitheatre, seating about a hundred students. 
Gigi was the proprietor — I never knew his surname — but 
all he did was to exact his fee each month and provide a 
good light, heat, and a model, and also — for two soldi — 
large hunks of coarse bread, called "moulika," for rubbing 
out marks. The model was sometimes a young woman 



clothed only in a mask, or sometimes without it; sometimes 
a naked Arab, or a peasant boy. We had no regular ar- 
tistic criticism, but worked out our own salvation as best 
we could, except that we profited by the very frank opinions 
of our neighbors, usually more wholesome than compli- 
mentary. We had, however, the very real advantage of 
seeing the work of others, some of it very fine. Many great 
painters had w^orked there, among them Fortuny and Vil- 
legas. Fred Crowninshield was usually my companion 
on these occasions; he would stop at my house in the eve- 
ning and we would go off to Gigi's together. I remember 
a pleasant party that Mrs. Crowninshield gave one winter, 
with a puppet show and ''Jarley's Waxworks," in which 
the part of Mrs. Jarley was taken by Miss Louisa Alcott, 
who made most amusing impromptu speeches alx)ut the 
different characters. Crowninshield was Director of the 
American Academy in Rome for some years. 

Elihu Vedder, whose studio was at 33 Via Margutta, 
was then as always a most dehghtful companion— witty, 
unusual, and interesting. When an American visitor to 
his studio w^as guilty of the usual trite remark, "I don't 
know anything about art, but I know what I like," Vedder 
replied, *'So do the beasts that perish !" Mrs. Vedder was 
an exceedingly nice woman and they were a devoted couple, 
she being very capable and taking excellent care of his af- 
fairs, but at the same time giving him the utmost frecnJom 
of action. When he visited New York he sometimes left 
his family in Rome, and he told me that once when he was 
about to leave for America his wife said: 

*'Now, Ved, you are going to New York; do just as 
you like there, but please don't come home and hoast about 


In New York his headquarters were always at the Ccn- 



tury Club and almost any evening he could be seen there, 
surrounded by a circle of friends far into the night. Some- 
one asked him to have a drink — his answer was a conun- 
drum, "Why am I like a Kleinert's dress-shield? Because 
I am ahvays dry and absorbent." 

Charles Caryl Coleman with his curhng hair and hand- 
some face, was a striking figure. He was a good friend, 
ahvays generous to any one ill or in trouble. His brother 
Caryl belonged for a year or two to the Trappists, that 
strictest of orders that hves in perpetual silence. 

As Charles Coleman was a great collector of "oggetti 
di antichita," his studio was a perfect museum of beautiful 
things — tapestries, rich stuffs, china, carved furniture, 
Roman and Grecian glass, rare marbles, and old pictures. 
They said that if he sold a picture for a thousand dollars, on 
the strength of it he immediately salhed out to an antiquity 
shop, where he had aheady coveted some object or other, 
and spent two thousand dollars on account of the one he 
had on hand. His studio was also in the Via Margutta, 
high up, with an outdoor gallery leading to it and with 
windows on the one side looking out on the Pincian Hill, 
with its lovely umbrella pines and its winding marble steps 
and balustrades, the Church of Santa Maria del Popolo 
and the Porta del Popolo, designed by Michael Angelo; 
while from the other there was the lovely distant view of 
the Campagna, gay with poppies and pink almond trees, 
interspersed with picturesque bits of ruin. 

I was one day sketching one of these ruins, a small tem- 
ple or tomb, the stucco a dehcious yellowish tint, with a 
bright spot of white in the centre of the apse-hke top. An 
almond-tree in bloom hung over it, and beyond was a jum- 
ble of dehcate flowers and a touch of tender blue sky. I 
was busily absorbed when I looked up and saw George 



Inness and T. Buchanan Read. They had just finished 
lunching together and were in good spirits. Inness re- 
marked, "Your high light in the arch is not bright enough." 
So, handing him my palette and brush, I said, "Do it your- 
self then," and without taking off his kid gloves he took 
the brush, mixed up some NapIes-yellow and white, steadied 
himself and gave one dab just in the right spot. I sold 
that sketch later for a hundred dollars, but whether it was 
because of Inness's master touch I never knew. He was 
a small, ner\ous man, with ragged hair and beard, and a 
vivacious, intense manner, an excellent talker and much 
occupied with theories and methods of painting, and also 
of religion. I once met him in the White Mountains and 
we spent several hours talking together, or rather he talked 
and I listened, about a theory- he had of color intertwined in 
a most ingenious way with Swedenborgianism, in which he 
was a devout believer. Toward the latter part of the eve- 
ning I became quite dizzy, and which was color and which 
religion I could hardly tell ! But, on the whole, he was 
an interesting man and undoubtedly one of the first of Amer- 
ican painters. Unlike many great artists he was amenable 
to criticism, and when some friend suggested that he might 
change a sky he would promptly scrape out a gray one and 
tr\- a blue. Crowninshield said that when Inness painted 
according to his theories the result was sometimes queer, 
but when he trusted altogether to his feeling his work was 
wonderfully fine. 

T. Buchanan Read, the "painter poet," author of 
"Sheridan's Ride," was another picturesque figure who 
led a gay and varied Roman life and amused himself by 
doing a good many unusual things; for instance, on Queen 
Victoria's birthday he sent her a long congratulatory tele- 
gram in poetical language, and received a gracious acknowl- 



cdgment from the master of her household, who of course 
did not know T. B. R., but wanted to be on the safe side. 
Another time he was fishing with a gay party at Tivoli 
and sent Prince Humbert a basket of trout, for which he 
got the same sort of royal thanks. 

Read had painted a portrait of General Sheridan on 
his black charger, and when the general, accompanied by 
Colonel Forsythe, visited Rome we gave them a dinner 
which was attended by most of the Americans in Rome 
and several Enghsh army officers. General Sheridan was 
a man of few words but they were brisk and to the point. 
He had grown stout and rather breathless; indeed, his 
clothes seemed too tight for him. Forsythe was a fine, dash- 
ing fellow and made quite an amusing speech at the dinner. 
After complimenting the British officers, he spoke of being 
once stationed on the Canadian frontier near a British out- 
post. "Their officers," he said, *' would come to see us 
and we would give them mint juleps and knock 'em higher 
than a kite; then we would go over to them and they would 
give us double-headed ale and brandy mixed and knock 
us higher than a kite. It was grand!" 

General Sherman also came to Rome while I was there, 
with Fred Grant, General Grant's son, who had lately 
graduated at West Point. I invited Grant to go to the 
hunt and offered him a horse, but he asked what sort of 
saddle he would have to ride and when I told him that we 
only had English saddles, he suggested that he might ride 
bareback. I said that I didn't think it would do for the 
son of the President of the United States to appear in that 
bucolic fashion. It seemed strange to me that a West Point 
man had not been trained to ride on any kind of saddle. 

We saw a good deal of General Sherman, a fine old fel- 
low and very charming in a bluff, quaint way; he often 



came to our house. Augustus Saint Gaudcns had a favorite 
story about the general. When he was modclhn^ the gen- 
eral's bust he was also making a bas-rehcf of Robert L<3uis 
Stevenson, and he told the general that he would like to 
introduce him, whereupon the general asked: 

"Was he one of my boys?" 

"No," said Saint Gaudens; "he is a celebrated writer, 
the author of 'Jekyll and Hyde.' " 

"Oh!" said the general, "he's no fool then; I'd like to 
meet him," and when Stevenson came in he shook him 
warmly by the hand and said: "Glad to meet you, sir! 
Were you one of my boys?" 

General Robert Anderson, "the hero of Fort Sumter," 
was another mihtary celebrity who was in Rome one winter 
with his family. The general was deehning rapidly in heahh, 
but I saw a good deal of him and found him a most lovable 
man, simple, honest, and straightforward. I went to the 
railway station to bid him good-by and that was the last 
I saw of him, as he died shortly afterward. Among the 
many fine things that he did for his country, and not the 
least, was the founding of the Soldiers' Home in Wash- 
ington, which was chiefly due to his efforts. 

One of the best books that have ever been written about 
the every-day life of Rome is the "Roba di Roma" of Wil- 
liam Wetmore Story, giving as it does the history of many 
ancient customs, festivals, and traits of the people which 
were still prevalent in the Rome of his day and mine, but 
which have now entirely disappeared. He was a man ()f 
varied talents, none of them buried in a napkm. His 
statue of Cleopatra may be seen in the Metropolitan .Mu- 
seum; he was a painter and a poet; but he had begun life 
as a lawyer and wrote law books that are still quoted as 
authority, and I have heard that he was once a disciple of 



transcendental philosophy at Brook Farm. To be sure, if 
one spoke to a sculptor about Story's work, he was apt to 
praise his writing or painting, while if you mentioned his 
verse to a poet he fought shy of the subject and talked of 
his sculpture instead — but taking him all in all, he was un- 
doubtedly a many-sided man of talent, though I think that 
his fame will rest more on the admirable ''Roba di Roma" 
than on all his other works. I remember, many years after 
the time of which I am writing, I was in Paris and happened 
to be calling on Mrs. McCormick — a very charming woman, 
by the way, the wife of the McCormick of reaper fame — 
when Cabanel came in. He had painted a portrait of Mr. 
McCormick, who had subsequently been decorated by the 
French Government with the Legion of Honor, so the por- 
trait had been sent to Paris from America in order that 
the artist might paint the red ribbon in the buttonhole of 
the coat. Cabanel was now calling to discuss the matter 
with Mrs. McCormick. By way of making conversation, 
she told Cabanel that her distinguished countryman, Mr. 
W. W. Story, was then in Paris and asked if he had met 
him. Cabanel, with many apologies, was compelled to 
acknowledge that he had never heard of him. 

"Not heard of him!" exclaimed Mrs. McCormick. 
"Why he is a wonderful sculptor, a great painter, a poet, 
a lawyer of distinction!" etc., etc. 

Cabanel listened attentively until she had closed her 
panegyric, then throwing up both hands exclaimed, "Trop 
de choses, madame, trop de choses!" 

George Butler was a good painter of portraits — and, 
incidentally, of cats. An athletic fellow, with a beautiful 
figure and handsome face, he was a remarkably fine fencer, 
although he had lost his right arm at Gettysburg. He used 
to fence in some resort frequented by Italian officers and 



was generally regarded as one of the best swordsmen in 
Rome. Now it happened that his friend, Charles Caryl 
Coleman, had an enemy — why, I need not mention — and 
this enemy and his friends formed a conspiracy against 
Coleman, planning to get him involved in a duel so that 
they might take his hfe. One evening Coleman and Butler 
wTrc at the opera with some ladies and, in leaving, the man 
jostled Coleman in an insulting way. Coleman said to 

**I cannot see you now, as I am with ladies, but I will 
see you later." 

After taking the ladies home, Butler and Coleman went 
to the Caffe di Roma, on the Corso, and the enemy was 
there. As they left the caffe he followed and they turned 
and met him. It was a dark night, and mistaking Butler 
for Coleman he slapped his face, whereupon Butler im- 
mediately knocked him down. The fellow^ jumped up and 
demanded satisfaction, but when they got into the hght and 
he saw his mistake, and found that he had to deal with the 
best fencer in Rome, he wanted to apologize and get out of 
it, but Butler said: 

" No, you don't ! I have received a deadly insult, and 
we must fight; our weapons are sw^ords." 

So they fought. Butler soon saw that he had his 
antagonist at his mercy, but he did not want to kill him, 
and as the man wore glasses he thought it would be a good 
idea to pick them off without hurting him; but in doing 
this he did not quite calculate his distance and almost ran 
his sword through his opponent's skull, though it did not 
wound him mortally. Coleman was troubled no more. 

One time in Paris Butler was insulted in some way by 
a Frenchman, and in the row which followed he was ar- 
rested and taken to court. As soon as the judge saw this 



splendid-looking man, before he allowed the complainant 
to offer any evidence whatever, he said to him: 

"Sir, I see that you have lost your arm — how did it 

"In battle," replied Butler. 

"That is enough, sir," the judge said. "You are dis- 
charged, honorably discharged. The case is closed." 

Butler had great ability as a portrait-painter, but it 
was difficult to pin him down to work; though he began 
a portrait with much enthusiasm, he seldom finished it. 
On one occasion he went to paint a gentleman's portrait 
at his country place and the summer passed very pleasantly, 
but the picture was never done. 

He married a Capri girl, a dark beauty. They came to 
America and settled on a farm in Westchester County, 
where they made ItaHan cheese; and I am told that Butler 
was to be seen there, pottering about the place, followed 
by a large brood of handsome black-eyed children. He 
became a Romanist, to please his wife I suppose; resigned 
from all his clubs, including the Century, and from the 
Academy of Design; gave up painting, and retired to his 

He once stayed with us at Danskammer, my place on 
the Hudson; he arrived without any baggage; he had not 
been shaved for a week, and wore a yellow flannel shirt. 
We enjoyed his society immensely, for he was most enter- 
taining, and his absence of luggage did not embarrass him 
in the least — I provided him with a razor, a night-shirt, 
and a tooth-brush, and he was perfectly content. In short, 
he was a real Bohemian and entirely irresponsible, and if 
one hinted at any want of forethought on his part he was 
so amused, and looked at one with such a frank and 
sweet expression on his handsome face, that one could 



not but forgive him at once. Every one liked George 

It was in the winter of 1871 that I first heard the name 
of Augustus Saint Gaudens, to my mind the greatest of 
American sculptors; he was then very young and quite un- 
known. I shall tell in another chapter of our first meeting 
and our lifelong friendship. 

John Rolhn Tilton was one of the best-known painters 
in Rome at that time. He was an admirer of Turner and 
his pictures reminded one of that great artist's manner, 
that has been irreverently described as 

"A foreground all of golden dirt, 
The sunshine painted with a squirt." 

Tilton's pictures were very popular and he admired 
them greatly himself. 

"Why," he said to me, "my pictures are so luminous 
that they shine in the dark," and I think that he really 
believed it. Meeting him in the street on his return from 
Egypt, I asked him what it was like. " Do you love cream ? " 
he asked — I confessed that I did. "Then you know what 
Egypt is," he said, "it is like cream !" 

His studio, overlooking the beautiful Villa Ludovisi, had 
windows opening on a long veranda through which the 
passers-by could see into his studio. Some visitors hap- 
pened to glance in and spied Tilton with his coat off, look- 
ing rather dishevelled, sweeping out his room. Thev 
knocked at the door, there was a perceptible pause and 
a "Come in," and there he was, lying on a sofa, dressed 
in a velvet coat and reading a volume of Brownmg. 

Once during the carnival, Arthur Dexter, o( Boston, 
a good deal of a wag and a delightful man, disguised him- 



self in domino and mask and, accompanied by a lady well | 
known in Rome and also masked, paid several surprise 
visits to his friends. One of these friends was Tilton, whose 
apartment in the Palazzo Barberini was on an upper floor 
and reached by a beautiful broad, winding marble stair- 
way, that seemed almost endless, and with steps so low 
that it was nearly an inclined plane. Dexter rang the bell 
at the door and Tihon opened it, clothed only in dressing- 
gown and slippers, but without a word they seized him, 
one on each side, and rushed him like lightning all the way 
down the winding stairs and left him shivering in the cold 
courtyard. He did not recognize them and never knew 
who they were. 

Like several other European rivers, the Tiber has a bad 
habit of overflowing its banks, and flooding all the lower 
part of the city with its yellow tide. One of the worst floods 
that ever visited Rome was in the last days of 1870, just 
after Christmas. 

Mrs. Armstrong to her mother, Mrs. Neilson, New York 

Rome, December 28, 1870. 
**. . . We have had a great deal of rain and the day 
before yesterday the Tiber rose and began to overflow the 
Ripetta, the street that lies right on the shore of the river, 
and today the Corso and the Via Condotti look like streets 
in Venice. All day the line of water has been creeping nearer 
to the Piazza di Spagna. The Piazza del Popolo is an im- 
mense lake, the water must be eight feet deep, and the 
plain about the city is all covered with water. We are for- 
tunate in being high and dry, and as our street door is on 
a level with the tops of the houses at the foot of the hill 
we are in no danger, even if the Piazza di Spagna should 



be covered up. This morning it is storming again ! We 
have bought meat for today and tomorrow, and as much 
macaroni, rice and potatoes as we could ^^vt, and wc can 
live on that for a few days, but the suffering in the lower 
part of the city is dreadful. The poor people shut up in 
their houses are crying at the windows, and boats are going 
about carrying food for them from the Government. In 
some places the water is up to the second stories, and they 
say many persons have been drowned. Nearly all the shops 
are ruined, — imagine Broadway with six feet of water in 
it and all the shops soaked ! The American gentlemen, 
Maitland, Mr. Nevin and others, are raising money and 
forming a committee for immediate relief. The road be- 
tween Rome and Florence is broken up and poor Henrietta 
King, who was on her way here to make a visit to Mrs. 
Van Schaick, has I suppose had to go back to Florence. 
The priests are in a great state of exultation, and tell the 
people it is a judgment for the King having taken the city." 

The lions that crouch at the base of the Egyptian obelisk 
in the Piazza del Popolo, spouting water in long streams 
from their mouths into the basins beneath, looked comical 
during the flood, for the spouting streams fell into the sur- 
rounding waste of water only a few inches below their 
mouths. Some friends of ours — I think they were Mr. 
and Mrs. Benjamin Morris, she was Sally Post,— staying 
at the Hotel de Russic which fronted on the Piazza del 
Popolo, came to lunch with us and when they returned 
to their hotel the water had risen so high that they were 
unable to enter the front door, but had to get ladders and 
go in from the slope of the Pincian Hill through the rear 



Mrs. Armstrong to Her Mother 

Rome, January 2, 1871. 

"... A great event happened last week, the King 
has actually made his entry into Rome. He came down 
without preparation or ceremony, and brought a large 
sum, I believe two hundred thousand francs, for the suf- 
ferers from the flood. His coming at this time produced 
a very good impression on the people, showing as it did 
his sympathy and interest in them. He arrived on Satur- 
day morning and returned that same night to Florence. 
He drove through the streets and went to church. We 
had an excellent view of him, but the procession was very 
little, only his body-guard on horseback and a few car- 
riages; but the historical event is a great one, and he is 
the first crowned head I have ever seen. He is even uglier 
than his pictures make him. — I was interrupted by a visit 
from Prince George of Sohms, who although a prince is 
in no other way diff'erent from any other fat amiable Dutch- 

The city is in the most dreadful state you can imagine, 
with an immense quantity of mud all over the streets. In 
the Ghetto several houses fell, and nearly everything there 
is destroyed. In Doctor Valery's house the water came 
up seven steps of the stairs — you know the front door here 
is on a level with the pavement and the hall and stairs are 
almost like the street. The Americans have contributed 
nearly twelve thousand francs for the suff'erers. Bessie 
Field, a daughter of Hickson Field, who married an Italian, 
had a baby born on the day of the flood. They live in a 
palace on the Corso and it was with great difficulty that 
Dr. Valery could get there, taking a boat first from his 
own house and then a cart to reach her. The nurse would 



not go to her. It was an inconvenient time, was it not, 
for the little stranger to make its appearance in the world ! 
Our washerwoman's assistant was shut in her house for 
two days without food, the children crying for bread. The 
water came into their rooms in the night and they had only 
time to escape up-stairs. Everything they had was de- 

We had a pleasant New Year's Eve, though not like 
our delightful old ones at home, with the dining room table 
covered with presents. We dined at Mrs. Haseltine's, 
a party of fourteen, and Dr. Nevin came in afterwards. Wc 
had a very elegant dinner which lasted Lite, and wc all 
waited to see the old year out. Just before twel\e hot punch 
was handed and we all stood glass in hand until the stroke 
of midnight, when we all drank our punch and wished each 
other a Happy New Year. 

You speak of the three old ladies, Mrs. Anthon, Mrs. 
Baker, and Aunt Helen Stuyvesant coming upstairs to 
see Lillie, what would you think of going up to the fourth 
story to see a friend! Mrs. Haseltinc, for instance, lives 
on the fourth story, up a hundred and four steps, and Mrs. 
Tilton up a hundred and fifty, on a large circular stairway, 
and Mrs. Chapman has about ninety. 

General Sheridan called here the other day, and we 
went to a reception given for him. A number of American 
gentlemen are to give him a dinner this week at the club. 
Poor Mr. Coleman, the artist, has smallpox. Little .\Lir- 
garet has named her new rocking horse Umberto, after 
Prince Humbert." 

In order to help the Relief Fund for which I was 
treasurer, we decided to give a fancy ball, the tickets to 
be sold and the proceeds to go to the fund. A c<Hnmittcc 



was formed to manage the ball, and I was made chairman. 
The other managers were Frederick Crowninshield, Charles 
Caryl Coleman, Captain Danyell, an ex-British officer, 
and another Englishman whose name I cannot recall. 

A certain Count Ajasso and his lady had lately come 
to Rome, and had made themselves conspicuous in un- 
pleasant ways. He was reported to be a professional duellist 
and a great bully, who had been engaged in many "affairs 
of honor," and had killed his man more than once. His 
wife and he were not "personse gratse" in society and as 
several American ladies who were going to the ball did not 
wish to meet these people, they asked the managers to de- 
cline to give them tickets if they applied. 

Now Count Ajasso had stated that he was an intimate 
friend of Prince Humbert, and that at a certain entertain- 
ment he had walked arm in arm with the prince; but we 
investigated these statements and found them false, so 
we thought this would be a sufficient ostensible reason to 
give for refusing the tickets. Though the man was un- 
doubtedly a bounder, the real reason was the reputation 
of the countess ; but although every one knew this, of course, 
we were debarred from mentioning her at all, so the situa- 
tion was a rather dehcate one for the committee. We hoped 
that the Ajassos would not want to come to the ball, but 
in any case we decided not to give them tickets, although 
we foresaw that there might be trouble. 

There was another person in Rome that winter who 
was also supposed to be objectionable, and whom we were 
asked not to favor; this was an Englishman named Oliver, 
whose wife was said to be a daughter of Madame Tussaud — 
a large showy young man, handsome in a common way, 
of very pronounced style and extravagantly dressed. He 
had curling black hair and a ruddy countenance, height- 



ened by rouge, and such a very thin waist and efTcminatc 
figure that the rumor that he wore corsets had every aj>- 
pearance of truth. He hunted and wa,s conspicuous at 
the hunts because he rode what is known in circus par- 
lance as a "calico horse," that is, a black horse with large 
white blotches on him, four white legs, and a white blaze 
on his nose. Altogether, Mr. Ohver was vtry- conspicuous. 
I never heard that there was anything against the char- 
acter of either Mr. or Mrs. Oliver — we simply did not want 

So it was settled that these two groups were to be 

It was decided to have the ball at the Sala Dante and 
we all set about preparing our costumes. 

A few days before the great event, Count Ajasso ap- 
peared at my apartment and asked me for tickets for him- 
self and his lady. He was a tall, gaunt, saturnine individual, 
very sure of himself in manner, and was decidedly taken 
aback when I dechned to give him the tickets. He de- 
manded my reason for this action and I told him that 1 
did not feel obliged to give any reason; so he departed. 
That evening he called, accompanied by Captain Danyell. 
a member of our committee, who came as his friend and 
urged me to give him the tickets. Danyell did this on his 
own hook and without authority from the other members 
of our committee, and in thus appearing and espousing 
Ajasso's cause he was let out of all responsibihty. As the 
other Englishman on the committee also backed squarciv 
out, Coleman, Crowninshield, and I had to shoulder the 
whole affair; but we agreed to stand together. 

When Danyell and Ajasso came to see me, they both 
exhausted arguments and appeals. The count assured 
me that every one knew he intended to go to the ball, and 

21 I 


that if we declined to have him the insult would ruin his 
position in society. Indeed, he begged me with tears in 
his eyes not to deny him, but I was firm in declining and 
they left, and I thought that the incident was closed; but 
the next day three gorgeous visiting-cards, bearing the 
titles and coronets of well-known Itahan officers, were 
handed to me with a letter, and I went into my parlor to 
see the gentlemen. They told me that they were Count 
Ajasso's seconds and that they were instructed to inform 
me that he felt I had insulted him and demanded satis- 
faction, unless I would either apologize, give him the tickets, 
or explain the reason for my action. As I declined all three 
propositions, they said that they had no alternative but to 
demand satisfaction and asked me to name my seconds, 
so that they might arrange preliminaries. This also I de- 
clined and told them that a duel was quite out of the ques- 
tion — that I was the sole representative of my government 
in Rome, that duelling was not only against the law and 
custom of my country, but if I engaged in one I should ex- 
pose myself to ridicule and disgrace. Getting no satis- 
faction, they retired. 

Danyell and our other English associates, having made 
themselves safe, were out of it; so Ajasso turned his at- 
tention to Coleman and Crowninshield, but without much 
success. The seconds first called on Coleman at his studio, 
who dechned to talk the matter over or discuss it in any 
way, ridiculed the idea of fighting a duel about it, firmly 
upheld my action in the matter, and, in short, dechned all 
tickets, explanations, or duels. Crowninshield's studio 
was next door to Coleman's, so the trio then applied there, 
and as soon as he learned their mission he slammed his 
door, without any remark, in their faces. 

By this time every gossip in Rome was busy with the 



affair, and that evening some of Ajasso's friends met Crown- 
inshield at the opera and told him that if Cr)unt Ajasso 
could not get satisfaction otherwise, he would cane Mr. 
Armstrong in the street, and asked what Mr. Armstrong 
would do in that event. Crowninshield replied that if Mr. 
Armstrong were attacked he would doubtless defend him- 
self **in the usual American fashion." This cryptic answer 
they did not relish, as it contained a dark and sinister sug- 
gestion of revolvers and bowie knives, popularly supposed 
to be the usual American weapons of defense. Thus the 
matter rested for some time. 

As far as Mr. Oliver was concerned, the affair was easily 
settled. He came clattering up to my door one day, on 
his calico horse, and when he was announced asked for 
tickets for the ball. I declined as politely as possible, with- 
out giving any reason and without his demanding any. 
Not long afterward I met him in the barber's shop where 
he was getting shaved and he said to me: 

"What an ass that fellow Ajasso made of himself about 
those tickets — every one in Rome knows about it after 
the advertising he's done! I had more sense. I haven't 
mentioned it to a soul and no one knows I was turned 
down !" 

Well, we had our ball— without the AJassos and Olivers 
— and it was a great success. There were many really linr 
costumes. Among the most beautiful American wonuji 
were Mrs. Frederick Crowninshield and Mrs. Edward Boyt 
of Boston. All the artists were there in force. \'edder 
wore a fifteenth century dress— a scarlet doublet and tights 
—and his fine figure combined with his wonderful dancing 
was very effective. I wore a Venetian dress, copied from 
a figure in one of Carpaccio's pictures in Venice— "The Eni:- 
lish Ambassadors visiting the Doge"— a doublet of stamped 


yellow Genoese velvet, scarlet tights, with an old em- 
broidered coat-of-arms on my breast and another on the 
calf of my leg, and a jewelled girdle in which I carried an 
ivory-handled poniard said to have belonged to Vittoria 
Colonna. I have worn the same array since at the Twelfth 
Night celebrations at the Century Club. My wife wore 
an Italian dress of the fifteenth century. The ball was 
successful financially and yielded a good sum to the Relief 

The ball was over, but I still heard rumors that Ajasso 
was going to cane me in the street and I was determined, 
if he tried it, to do my best to thrash him in the "Amer- 
ican fashion." From my boyhood I had been interested 
in sparring, and I had been taking lots of exercise, riding 
and hunting every day, so I was really rather disappointed 
that nothing had happened. Finally I met Ajasso one 
day on the Spanish Steps. I was walking home after a ride 
and had started up the left flight of steps when, glancing 
up, I saw Ajasso at the top on the right. So I retraced my 
steps and went up the right side. I hoped that the caning 
was about to begin, as he had a stick in his hand, and I 
shifted my riding-crop from my left hand to my right and 
swung it thoughtfully. But it was not to be — and a glare 
was his only revenge. A year later he was killed in a duel. 




"The champaign with its endless fleece 
Of feathery grasses everywhere ! 
Silence and passion, joy and f)eace, 

An everlasting wash of air — 
Rome's ghost since her decease." 


Some of the pleasantest days of my life were spent in 
the Campagna, where the endless variety of subjects lured 
one to an endless number of sketches. I would often take 
my lunch with me and stay all da}', going in a cab as far 
out as I wanted, and then walking about the fields until 
I found a picturesque bit. Once I struck out through a 
lonely valley and when I had gone some distance I met 
a fox. A little later, having settled down to my work, I 
saw approaching a tall, rough-looking peasant, with a long 
nintlock gun, who came and stood behind me watching me 
sketch. I did not like his looks much and, to use the ex- 
pression of a Cape Codder, the captain of the Cclcstia, I 
"kept my eye well skinned back." To make conversation, 
I told him that I had seen a fox. 

"Didn't you have anything to shoot it with?" he asked. 

"Well," I said, "nothing but this," and I reached back 
and took from my pistol-pocket a Smith and Wesson revolver 
and cocked it. 

"Ah!" he said, "buon giorno!" and stalked away. I 
think, if I had not been so brisk with my pistol, he might 
have put his old gun at my head and made me hold up my 



hands and relieved me of my watch and pocketbook. Al- 
most any one of these peasants would, on occasion, lapse 
into a bandit, for the trade of highwayman is not one that 
they dislike, in fact it rather excites their admiration. In 
1859 when I drove from Rome to Lake Thrasymene, the 
danger from brigands was very real. Only the week be- 
fore our trip, the diligence had been stopped on the road 
up Monte Somma and every one had been robbed, even 
the ladies being despoiled of their dresses. In those days 
the banditti came in large bands and resistance was use- 
less, especially on the long hills, where oxen had to be har- 
nessed to the carriages and progress was necessarily slow. 

I was once sketching the Tor degli Schiavi and there 
were several men excavating for treasure near me all day. 
They dug a long trench right in front of the tower, in which 
they found a lot of vipers, but also some bits of old jars, 
iridescent glass, etc., which they turned over to me. They 
dug one hole about twelve feet square and six feet deep, 
about one hundred feet from the Tor degli Schiavi, on the 
side toward Rome, and uncovered part of a fine Roman 
pavement, in perfect condition, decorated with white pea- 
cocks on a black ground. I asked the men what they were 
going to do with it, and they said it was no use to them, 
so they filled it up and went away. I remember the exact 
spot, and I have often thought that I should like to revisit 
it and dig up the pavement. 

Beggars abounded in Rome, indeed theirs was a well- 
organized trade. At the top of the Spanish Steps a favorite 
of ours used to sit, a handsome, black-eyed, friendly youth, 
who held out his hat with such an engaging and appealing 
smile that you could not help putting something into it. 
He had but one leg and carried a crutch, but he could skip 
around on it with great facility. I once saw him chasing 



a rival who had trespassed on his preserve, whom he finallv 
overtook and beat over the head with his eriiteh. E\er\ 
beggar has his own hunting-ground and woe to any other 
who invades it. On the occasion of any festival on thr 
Campagna, or the meet of the hunt, on every hill wher( 
the carriages had to go slowly the beggars gathered in 
swarms, and the lame, the halt, and the hVind would way- 
lay us, with piteous cries of "Carita per amor di Dio!" 
holding out their withered hands or exposing their other 
deformities in a most harrowing way. 

They had a curious custom in the shops in Rome. 
Every Saturday one would see a long row of coppers laid 
out on the counter near the door. Each shop evidently 
had its special clientele of beggars; a member would ap- 
pear, open the door, pick up a single copper, no more, mur- 
mur, "Grazie!" and depart without further remark. The 
beggars had a funny way of addressing or speaking of each 
other, as "quel gobbo," "quel cieco," or "quella vecchia" 
as the case might be. But then, all Italians more often 
use nicknames for each other than real names. 

In those days Roman society consisted chiefly of the 
nobility, or members of the diplomatic corps, and hardly 
any one else was admitted. There were literally only two 
exceptions — Volpicelli, the son of a professor, and Gu- 
glielmo Grant, a partner in the firm of Maquay, Hooker, 
and Company, the American bankers. They were both 
charming and agreeable young men, but there were many 
others just as much so that did not figure in the best so- 
ciety, so called. At a ball at the Palazzo Doria I once saw 
Grant dancing with the Princess Margherita, an h(Mior 
which was accorded to few young men. He was fond of 
rowing, so he and Fred Crowninshield, who had been on 
the crew at Harvard, sent to America for a race-lx)at, a 



four-oared shell, and were often to be seen darting up and 
down the Tiber at racing speed, an unusual sight in sleepy 
Rome. Of course, the American women who had married 
distinguished Romans were naturally in society, and in 
addition there were a number of other Americans, among 
them Mrs. Charles King and her family. Her son Rufus 
King had been American Minister there, which gave them 
a diplomatic position. From their long residence in Rome 
they knew all the Itahans, and they entertained very 
pleasantly; five o'clock tea, a new institution in those days, 
was delightful at their house, particularly on Saturdays 
when one met lots of agreeable people there — Romans, 
Americans, and English. 

Among the nice young Roman friends of the Kings was 
Guido Bourbon, Marchese del Monte, a scion of the noble 
house of Bourbon, a handsome young man and a member of 
the Pope's Noble Guard — at a salary, if I remember rightly, 
of some six hundred francs a year, but nevertheless he 
was always beautifully dressed and apparently enjoyed the 
best of everything. It is customary for the cadets of noble 
families in Rome to be supported by their rich relations, 
at whose tables they always have a seat and to whom they 
may send their tailor's bills. In fact, as it is not allowable 
for them to engage in any business whatever without losing 
caste, they really cannot support themselves. They may 
be in the diplomatic or military service, but almost every- 
thing else is beneath their dignity. Well, this young man 
was of that class — he had nothing whatever to do, and the 
Kings were sorry for him and fond of him, and were suf- 
ficiently intimate — at least they thought so — to give him 
some advice; so they suggested that he should give up 
his life in Rome and go to New York, where they would 
give him letters to friends with whom he could go into the 



banking business, and where with his undoubted abilities 
he might make a fortune. But far from being grateful for 
their offer, he was furious and felt deeply insulted at the 
idea that a del Monte would degrade himself so far as to 
go into trade. Indeed, he was so mortally offended that 
they did not see him for a long while, though he did finally 
consent to forgive them. (By the way, the Roman princes 
are not above marrying a rich American girl and living 
on her money !) 

I think it was that same winter that Prince Pignatelli 
became very devoted to Miss Pussy Strong, afterward 
Mrs. Wellman. Mrs. Strong, however, did not fancy an 
Italian suitor, nor was he approved by their stern Amer- 
ican maid; in fact, everybody said that it was she who 
drove him away in the end, always avowing whenever he 
came to call: "No, prince. Miss Pussy can't see you." I 
remember hearing an American declare, speaking of a Ix'au- 
tiful countrywoman of his who had married a Cenci, that 
the husband was a lineal descendant of Beatrice Cenci ! 

Mrs. Terry, and her daughters, the Crawfords, were 
very pleasant people, living in the Palazzo Odescalchi. 
The son, Marion Crawford, was a shy gawky boy, who 
gave no promise of any sort of genius, and was rather kept 
in the background by his family. Somehow or other Doc- 
tor Nevin found that he had a talent for writing and en- 
couraged him to take up literature as a profession. I fancy 
his novel, "The Three Fates," describes something of his 
own experience with his first novel, "Mr. Isaacs," which 
had a most extraordinary success for an unknown author. 
It sold by thousands, and was even jxirodied in a little 
volume with the same cover only very small, called "Dr. 
Jacobs." His sister, Mimoli Crawford, afterward Mrs. 
Hugh Fraser, is also a good novelist. 



In 1870, J. Bloomfield Wetherill, a cousin of mine 
through the Macombs, was Doctor Nevin's curate. While 
he was in Rome he inherited a large fortune from his father, 
Doctor Wetherill, of Philadelphia, who left no will. For 
many years Doctor Wetherill had done nothing for his 
family, leaving his wife, who was a fine woman, to bring 
up their fifteen children. In fact, some of his children did 
not know him by sight, though Bloomfield said he knew 
his father sHghtly and sometimes met him in the street 
and had a little chat. Bloomfield had always been de- 
pendent on his salary as a clergyman, and you may imagine 
how surprised and pleased he was at receiving this large 
fortune. He married a sister of Mrs. Stanford White and 
Mrs. Prescott Hall Butler. 

I think it was that winter that we knew the Connollys 
in Rome. Young Connolly was a sculptor. His father 
was a convert to Roman Catholicism, and after inducing 
his wife also to change her faith, he became a priest and 
she went into a convent. A fittle later he changed his mind 
again and gave up his new beliefs and wanted his wife to 
come back to him, but she was either less volatile, or less 
constant, than he, as you choose to look at it, and would 
not consent to desert her convent for her home. So in the 
shuffle he lost her altogether. 

Doctor Valery was the fashionable doctor in Rome in 
those days; he was a dear old man and we all loved him. 
His English, although he spoke it fluently, was decidedly 
pecuhar. I remember his asking one of the children, when 
he came to vaccinate her, to "kindly discover your arm." 
When he visited Mrs. John Jacob Astor, who was just re- 
covering after a long illness, she told my wife that he said: 
*' You may sit by the fire and suckle a pear," and she added: 
**What a charming domestic scene the words call up!" 



The Astors and Van Schaicks went on an excursion to 
Pacstum together, and as there were a ^ood many brigands 
about there at that time and they thought some rumor of 
the Astors' wealth might have preceded them, they took 
a guard of two soldiers, which would not have been of much 
use if they had been attacked by a couple of hundred 
brigands, as was common enough in those days. A party 
of English people had been killed by brigands in Greece 
only a short time before, so our friends had something of 
a shock when they suddenly saw a band of men approach- 
ing across the plain; however, they proved to be only sur- 
veyors. Wilhe Astor had a turn for sculpture and studied 
with Tadolini that winter. His statue of "The Wounded 
Amazon" showed some promise. 

Doctor Valery once told me that it was safe to sleep 
in Rome with one's window open provided that it was forty 
feet above the street, as the malaria did not rise above that 
point. The real reason was, I suppose, that mosquitoes 
did not usually fly up to that height. That the mosquitoes 
were responsible for malaria was not then recognized, al- 
though, I believe, the Itahans were the first to study them 
from the standpoint of disease. The scientific people pur- 
sued their investigations by sleeping in the Pontine Marshes 
with and without mosquito nets— a pretty sure way of 
finding out, I should think. 

Some of the old theories whereby men tried to account 
for the poisoning of the Campagna by malaria are exceed- 
ingly interesting. Every one was agreed that it had not 
always been so; that when the Campagna was a highly 
cultivated country, dotted by the vilhis and gardens of 
wealthy Romans, it had not been unheahhy— indeed it 
was known to have had a perfect climate— and it was be- 
lieved that if the marshes could be drained the malaria 



would disappear. In 1867 a doctor got pretty close to the 
mosquito theory. He thought malaria came from a minute 
fungus, propagated in the swamps, which got into the hu- 
man system, particularly at night; for he had observed 
that a thin veil over a sleeping person was sufficient pro- 

Mr. and Mrs. Wilhkm H. Herriman, of New York, great 
friends of ours, have lived in Rome from about 1865 to 
the present time. They exercised a quiet and generous 
hospitahty in their delightful apartment, and were among 
the best friends the American artists had, for they bought 
their pictures, befriended them in their need, nursed them 
in sickness, and lent them money when they were hard 
up. Mr. Herriman was a wise collector, not only of pic- 
tures but of all sorts of rare objects of art. 

I once took a pleasant trip as his guest through the 
hill towns back of Tivoh, together with Vedder and Gris- 
wold, another artist, driving in a carriage holding four. 
We began by lunching at Tivoli in the little pavihon on 
the hill above the waterfalls, then wandered about making 
sketches of an old mediaeval tower below, and spent the 
first night at Saracenesca. The Saracen type, strongly 
marked among all the inhabitants there, is particularly 
noticeable among the beautiful women. I was once sitting 
with my wife in a pleasant leafy valley near Albano, in 
May, when a woman of this type came and stood near us 
silently watching the sketch I was making. She had a 
child in her arms and balanced on her head was a tall, slim, 
green-and-white water jar. She stood perfectly motionless 
for a long while and I have never seen a lovelier group, 
posed in such sweet surroundings. 

After Saracenesca we spent a night at Subiaco, with 
its monastery overhung by a great rock. There is a tradi- 



tion, I believe, that some day the rock will fall and over- 
whelm the wonderful old subterranean church with its 
fine frescoes, but the monks dwell there undisturbed. Our 
next stop was at Olevano, most beautifully situated over- 
looking a vast view of the Campagna— from all these hills 
Rome is visible, the dome of St. Peter's shining white and 
dominating the distance. Everything was primitive at 
Olevano. Most of the houses had outside steps and the 
little black pigs were to be seen walking up them, even 
to the second stories, seeming quite at home. In the deep 
valley below the village there was a fountain, whence in 
the evenings long files of women carried water to their homes 
on the hill, in brightly pohshed copper vessels and gayly 
painted jars. Here they all wore the fine old Roman cos- 
tume, so rapidly disappearing elsewhere — the beautifully 
embroidered aprons, waists, and jackets, with folded white 
napkins on their heads on which to balance the jars. The 
entrance to the hotel at Olevano is by a long, straight path, 
and as we walked up this we were confronted by a little 
girl, about ten years old, who did not have on a stitch of 
clothing but who seemed not in the least embarrassed. At 
the hotel we met William and Mary Howitt, a charming 
elderly couple, interesting to talk to. 

It was altogether a delightful trip with but one draw- 
back, the ever-present drawback in Italy— the fleas. We 
were well prepared for them with a good stock of Persian 
insect powder, and at night we took all the coverings ofT 
the beds, replaced a sheet, saw that all fieius were outside, 
put a wall of insect powder all around the outer edges, and 
then stepped carefully over this barrier and covered our- 
selves with the clothing that had been well searched in 
advance; but even then we were not immune. 

Ostia was the objective of another pleasant trip taken 


by Crowninshield, Haseltine, and myself. It was expressly 
a sketching trip, for the carnival season was approaching, 
and we had all seen as much as we wanted of other carni- 
vals. A better choice for a contrast could not have been 
made. There is a well-preserved mediaeval castle at Ostia, 
built b}^ Pope Julius II, and its courtyard is the unusual 
site chosen for a quaint little stone-paved inn. The fire- 
place was so huge that there was room for seats all around 
the inside of the chimneypiece and space still left between 
for an immense fire, and the only furniture was an enormous 
table on a raised platform which occupied the whole of 
one side of the room. At the courtyard door was tethered 
a mule, that at intervals dragged in logs and branching 
trunks and gnarled roots of trees, wherewith to replenish 
the fire, which was always kept gayly burning. Here in 
the evening the peasants would gather and partake of their 
nightly meal of macaroni, which was served in vessels the 
size of wash-basins, unaccompanied by forks. It was mar- 
vellous how much they could eat. Each one had his bottle 
of red wine, and after the macaroni was gone they sat in 
a long row behind their dining-table and smoked their pipes. 
Every now and then one of their number would stoop to 
the fire, fill his horny hand with five, glowing embers, and 
beginning at one end of the row each man would light his 
pipe and pass the coal to his neighbor. 

In my bedroom on the second floor, the window and 
only fight was an uncovered loophole in the wall, evidently 
made for gun-fire in the middle ages ; the floor was of stone 
and the only furniture a tiny bedstead and a small three- 
legged wash-stand with a pitcher and basin, the latter much 
smafler than those used down-stairs for the macaroni. There 
were no chairs; one was supposed to sit on the bed. 

In the picturesque castle, shaded by an enormous stone- 



pine, everything was just as it had been in the fifteenth 
century. As it was surrounded by marshes and wild waste 
lands, the principal occupation was hunting — though now 
it may be cultivated for all I know. In the evening the 
hunters brought in strings of wild duck; when their talk 
was not of eating or money, the usual topics of a peasant, 
it was of exploits and adventures in shooting. Close around 
the castle and running down to the sea were open fields, 
parts of which had once been cuhivated; while in otlu-r 
parts the site of the ancient city of Ostia was indicated 
by mounds covering its former streets and paLices. What 
a place for excavating! Walking along the trace of one 
of these burled streets, I picked up an old Roman coin — 

"All passes. Art alone 
Enduring stays to us; 
The Bust outlasts the throne, 
The Coin Tiberius." 

The neighborhood is very paintable, with its great 
groves of stone-pines, and its ancient chateau and towers 
along the sea, built for protection against pirates. One 
morning I was seated in a field not far from the road w hen 
I was hailed from a carriage filled with masked figures— 
you must remember that it was carnival time. One of 
the ladies jumped out of the carriage, came over to me, and 
started a series of remarks, in a high, squeaky carnival voice, 
very derogatory to me and my sketch, followed by im- 
pertinent questions, which I answered as best I could. 
Finally I said: 

'*You are doubtless a charming creature, but I wish 
you would go away !" 

Whereupon she took ofi' her mask and behold it was 
my wife ! She was accompanied by a party of friends, among 



them Mrs. Haseltine and Nevin. As they had brought a 
basket of excellent lunch, we adjourned to the top of the 
round tower of the castle and had a delightful time. 

We had a httle club in Rome to which most of us be- 
longed, a pleasant meeting-place for residents and visitors, 
where cigars and spirituous refreshments were to be had 
but no food. One of the frequenters was a man whom we 

will call X , who sometimes stayed rather late and was 

apt to be hilarious. He was a slight, feeble, little person, 
but his wife was robust and handsome. One evening she 
called at the club, went in without ceremony although 
ladies were not admitted, took her husband by the ear, and 
led him forth. Their apartment was in the Vicolo San 
Nicolo da Tolentino — I give its full name because it amuses 
me — just opposite that of the Crowninshields. Crownin- 
shield happened to glance across the way and, much to 

his astonishment, he saw little X prostrate on the floor 

and Mrs. X pounding him on the head ! Except among 

the visitors, the consumption of strong drink, however, was 
not usual in Rome; indeed, I scarcely ever saw a drunken 
native Italian in the whole of Italy while I lived there, al- 
though they all drink wine and feed it copiously to the babies. 

My brother-in-law, Mr. Howard, died in Providence 
while we were in Rome, and I found in an old letter the 
account of a curious dream that my wife had at the time — 
only a coincidence, of course, but striking nevertheless. 
About ten days before he died, my wife told me one morn- 
ing that she had dreamed she had taken up a newspaper 
and seen Howard's death in it, aged fifty-two. We talked 
about it a httle, for we did not know his exact age. In the 
next mail from home we heard of his death, aged fifty-two, 
and strangely enough my wife read of it first in the paper, 
not in a letter. 



Governor Fenton, ex-Governor of New York, came to 
Rome one winter with his handsome daughter, and, of 
course, I had to be pohte to them and show them around. 
Happening to learn the amount of my salary as consul, 
the governor averred that it ought to be raised and vohin- 
teered to use his influence with the government to that 
end. Of course I expressed myself as grateful to him. A 
few days afterward I showed him a book of mine, "From 
Rome to Thrasymenc," and he said he would take it home 
to look it over. After keeping it for some time, he asked 
me if I intended to make him a present of it. I told him 
that unfortunately I had already given it to my brother; 
but still the book did not come back, and it was only after 
a good deal of difficulty and delay that he finally rehictantl^' 
returned it. I conchided he needed a httle watching. 

Later on he told me he would like to buy a copy of the 
Young Augustus in bronze, so I took him to some of the 
shops and found a statuette that he liked. He asked mc 
if I advised him to buy it, and I said I did; i)ut nothing 
happened, though he kept on talking about it. By the 
time he left Rome I had about made up my mind that he 
expected me to present it to him (which, of course, I could 
not do) and that his influence would be used in proportion 
to what he got out of mc. Even after he left Rome, the 
old fox wrote to me and said that if I still thought that 
bronze would look well on his library table at home to 
buy it. 

Some years later I was in the banking house of Monroe 
and Company in Paris, and Governor Fenton was sitting 
there, also two Englishmen. Some friend of the governor 
came in and said to him: 

''Good morning, governor. Fm glad it's a fine day at 
last!" or something of the sort. 



"So be I ! So be I !" replied the governor. 

One of the Englishmen, hearing this bucolic phrase, 
turned to his friend and whispered in an awe-struck voice: 

"He called him governor /" 

"From Rome to Thrasymene," the book which the 
governor took a fancy to, was in manuscript, the account 
of a trip I had taken during my first visit to Italy, which 
I copied and illustrated in the winter evenings at Dans- 
kammer. It is beautifully bound, and the neatness of the 
handwriting fills me with astonishment, but neither text 
nor drawing is good — particularly the decorative drawings 
are not at all such as I do now, or should like to have con- 
sidered samples of my work — and at times I have been 
tempted to burn the old thing. But then I have remem- 
bered those pleasant winter evenings, with my brothers 
alive and young, sitting there reading or chatting, the dogs 
curled up before the cosey open fire, the shining mahogany 
table covered with my drawing things — life, too, spread 
out all before me. When I realize that all these things 
are passed away never to return, and no one living can 
recall them except myself, then I refrain from putting the 
book in the fire, and let it go for what it is worth, as the 
fruit of early youth. 

The hunt was a delightful feature of the winter life in 
Rome. The club was chiefly made up from the Roman 
nobility, who controlled it; but foreigners were allowed 
to subscribe and enjoy all its privileges. The Romans were 
most of them handsome young men and rode fine Engfish 
horses. The Marquis Calabrini was master of the hunt, 
and among the usual riders whose names I remember were 
the two Princes Grazzioli, Prince Doria, and Prince Marc 
Antonio Colonna; the latter was dark, with beautiful 
features, while the Dorias and Grazziolis were ruddy-faced, 



light-haired men, more like English than Italians— the 
Dorias are half English anyway, and take after their Eng- 
lish ancestors in appearance. 

The club owned a fine pack of hounds that had to be 
frequently recruited from England, because, strange to 
say, the hounds bred in Italy lose their scent and are of 
no use. There was always a tent pitched at the meet, where 
we went when the run was over for a collation and to talk 
over the events of the day. The meets were usually at 
a considerable distance from Rome, in any and every part 
of the Campagna, and the long rides gave a fine chance 
to study the country, for one went to all sorts of out-of- 
the-way spots which the ordinary traveller would never 
discover. In this way I often saw beautiful subjects for 
sketching, which I afterward went back to paint, and this 
part of the hunting I enjoyed as much as the riding. 

One of the favorite meets was on the high ground at 
the tomb of Cecilia Metella on the Appian Way. All the 
jumps there are over stone walls, and one day I calculated 
that I had taken my horse over at least fifty walls. On 
the high ground the obstacles are usually stone, but in 
the lower part of the Campagna you meet rail fences, five 
or six feet high, spiked together firmly in order to keep 
in the herds of buffalo and long-horned oxen. Unless (^ne 
has a good horse, they are diilicult to negotiate. The walls 
are much safer riding and there are few falls, as a horse 
soon learns that he can strike a wall as he jumps and knock 
off a few stones with safety, but they do not like the fences, 
because if they hit a fence and the rails do not break they 
either stick there and the rider goes over his horse's head 
or both horse and rider go headlong together. And then, 
for some reason, a horse is apt to be more afraid of some- 
thing he can see through than he is of a solid obstacle like 



a wall. The Campagna provides all sorts of pitfalls for 
the unwary horseman — unfathomable ditches, old wells and 
broken ruins everywhere. Needless to say, there were lots 
of chances in Roman hunting, as the country was generally 
one you had never seen before and you never knew what 
was ahead of you. They told of a man coming to a very 
bad spot and dismounting to lead his horse, when he felt 
a pull on the reins and turned to see his horse shde out of 
sight into a deep hidden excavation, from which he never 
reappeared ahve. 

Another popular meet was at the Tor degli Schiavi, 
beyond the Porta Maggiore, the old tower that was either 
an ancient Roman temple or a tomb, as there are niches 
in the walls that might have held either statues or vases 
for the ashes of the dead. Built of very rich red brick, one 
side has been shattered by an explosion and reveals the 
brilhant white cement of the inner arched ceiling, but ex- 
cept for this huge rent it is almost as perfect as when it was 
built, although mellowed by time to a soft and dehghtful 
beauty. It stands on an elevation backed by the rolhng 
Campagna and the blue Alban hills, and of course I made 
sketches of it, as every artist does who goes to Rome. Here 
the Campagna was varied by hills and valleys, brooks and 
watercourses, broken rocky hillsides studded with olives, 
and gorges filled with knotted ilex-trees. Occasionally the 
hunt would go over one of the broad fields of green winter 
wheat — then the owner was paid for any damage that had 
been done. It was a perfect dehght to ride through this 
country on dehcious winter days, following the hounds 
speckled over the landscape making music dear to every 
hunter's heart, the red coats giving spots of color and gayety 
to the scene. 

The hunt was always accompanied by a man on a 



shaggy horse, armed with an axe, and after the huntsmen 
and best riders had jumped the intact fence, if they had 
not in so doing broken a rail or two, he would chop down 
some more bars and let the timid riders think that they were 
really hunting when they scrambled over the reduced ob- 

Some of the best riders were women, among them Miss 
Antoinette Polk, daughter of Bishop Polk, who was after- 
ward the wife of General Charette of the Pope's Noble 
Guard. She was a beautiful woman, as well as a beautiful 
rider, with an abundance of lovely brown hair that did not 
need a switch — a hair switch, I mean — but it was the cus- 
tom to wear these articles and one day, much to her morti- 
fication, her switch dropped off and one of the Roman princes 
leaped to the ground to restore it to her. The Misses King, 
daughters of Charles King, were also first-rate riders. (One 
of them became Mrs. Eugene Schuyler; and the youngest, 
afterward Madame Waddington, wife of the premier and 
minister of foreign affairs in Paris, has written some in- 
teresting reminiscences of her hfe in various courts of Eu- 
rope.) Miss Harriet Hosmer, the sculptor, rode in fine 
style on a tall brown horse and jumped everything in sight. 
One year in the steeplechases on the Campagna after Easter, 
Miss Hosmer's horse won. As her jockey was dressed in 
the "Stars and Stripes," the Americans felt it a great na- 
tional triumph. 

A Doctor Burrage, the American dentist in Rome, was 
among those who rode to hounds. His Italian was sketchy, 
and once when his horse had had a hard day and was very 
warm he said to his groom: "Rubate bene!" meaning 
"Rub him well!" which the groom answered cheerfully 
with a broad grin and a quick "Si, signore ! Si, signore!" 
for rubate is the imperative of rubare, to rob, and the groom 



was more than willing to carry out his master's instruc- 

The beautiful young Austrian Empress rode in Rome 
for two winters; she was a graceful rider, mounted on the 
best of horses, and always at the front. I remember one 
meet we had at the tomb of Cecilia Metella, when the Em- 
press was riding; in addition to the usual tent where there 
were refreshments for all the hunt, a special place was set 
apart for her and her suite and decorated with flowers. 
Every one in Rome drove out there that day — there must 
have been a hundred and fifty riders, and although it rained 
a little in the morning it was very gay. The Empress rode 
all day; she had a pretty horse belonging to the Queen of 
Naples and wore a black habit, a little round cap, and black 
stockings, which covered a very neat ankle — black stock- 
ings were considered very odd in those days, when women 
all wore white. On account of the rain, the ground was 
slippery and there were a good many falls, but no one w^as 

Red coats were for the most part confined to the 
Romans, but there w^re occasionally English or Americans 
who sported red, and all w^ore high hats, which were a pro- 
tection if you happened to fall on your head, as I did once 
in riding through a field where low bushes covered the 
obstacles underneath. We came to two ditches lying side 
by side, and my horse cleared the first, but not seeing the 
second landed in the middle of it and actually stood on 
his head, so that his forehead was covered with mud. I 
followed suit and stood on my head, or rather on my high 
hat, which was split in two and driven down over my eyes, 
and my neck was so stiff afterward that I could hardly 
move it for some time. Had it not been for my high hat 
I should probably have broken my neck. This and one 



other were the only falls I had in Rome during all my hunt- 
ing experience. I was very fortunate. 

My exemption from accidents was chiefly due to my 
horse, Lungarino, which was one of the best and most 
reliable animals I have ever known. He was probably of 
Arab blood, beautifully turned, brown, fifteen hands high 
and clean-limbed, with a long neck, small head, sloping 
shoulders, and large hquid soft eyes. An old vet, who for 
many years attended the four hundred horses of Barnum's 
circus, once told me that in examining a horse he always 
looked first at his ''countenance," as he expressed it, partic- 
ularly his eye, "because no good horse ever had a bad eye." 
Lungarino had been raised on the rough ground of the 
Campagna, and was the most sure-footed beast I have ever 
ridden. I never had him refuse a jump of any sort, and 
ahhough my Hght weight was a help to him in this — I once 
rode a race at Jerome Park, a mile in 1.48, weighing, with 
my saddle, one hundred and fifteen pounds — the real reason, 
beyond his great agihty, was that we had mutual confidence 
in each other, and when I turned his head to a fence he 
knew that I intended him to jump it, and he never disap- 
pointed me. There was a Spaniard named Heredia who 
was one of our best riders and had an excellent horse some- 
thing like mine. Wherever he went I always followed, or 
if I led he followed me. We made this a rule, and although 
I say it, who should not, we were always among the first 
in the field. One day the hounds were thrown out and 
we were all riding across a big open field, with a high rail 
fence in front of us and a gate further up, through which 
the whole hunt filed. I kept on alone, however, and jumped 
my horse over the fence. Pretty soon we rode back again 
and all went through the gate except myself, for I thought 
that I might as well take the fence again, so I put Lun- 



garino at it, but he swerved a little just before he reached 
it and jumped right over the gate-post itself— it must have 
been more than six feet. When Calabrini, the M. F. H., 
saw it, he said to one of his friends, "That young man will 
break his neck some time !" 

Another time there w^as a large gathering at the hunt 
— I never saw so many, perhaps two hundred — and we had 
one or two short runs. One fox took to a cane-brake and 
was killed, after which we had a long run across a level 
sort of country with a great many rail fences. F. Augustus 
Schermerhorn on his brown horse Barone, Baring of 
the British Legation, and I were riding side by side; pres- 
ently we noticed that there was no one else in sight. The 
hounds were running right in front of us, when they sud- 
denly stopped and began baying around the ruins of some 
old buildings where the fox had evidently run to earth. 
We were there several minutes before any others of the 
hunt came up — Schermerhorn remarked that it spoke pretty 
well for America and England. 

Lungarino was such a wonderful Httle horse that 
I must be forgiven if I recall some trifling incidents just to 
show what a cathke creature he was and how level-headed. 
I was alone following Miss Hosmer, on her tall brown horse, 
and she crossed a ditch which I tried in another place lower 
down. At the edge, hidden by low bushes, I struck a round- 
topped rock, just large enough to hold my horse's feet; 
he touched it hghtly, sprang from it across a deep muddy 
brook, landed on another rock, and then scrambled up an 
almost perpendicular broken bank on the other side — all 
in the time that it takes to tell about it. 

Another time, having been thrown out of the hunt, 
I found myself entirely alone, with no one in sight, riding 
along a sloping stony hillside sparsely clothed with olive- 



trees. I was galloping pretty fast, as it was late and I wanted 
to catch up to the others, when suddenly under our noses 
I saw one of those Roman watercourses cd^i^cd with brick 
on both sides, so I spoke to Lungarino and he took it 
in his stride — it looked very wide and deep as I glimpsed 
it below me in passing and I thanked my stars when I was 
over. I never would have taken it dehberately, because 
if Lungarino had not jumped it clean, or had trodden 
on either edge, we should have been done for, horse and all, 
for no one would ever have found us in that lonely spot. 

A dashing rider at the hunt whom I have not mentioned 
before was Miss Elizabeth Balch, a famous beauty. She 
went abroad with us to visit relations in Rome; we realized 
that her chaperonage though only for the journey was some- 
thing of a responsibihty. Lizzie, as she was usually called, 
was not only exceedingly pretty, but she had a sympathetic 
and highly cuhivated voice and was a fearless rider. Her 
father, Doctor Balch, had been at one time canon of the 
cathedral in Montreal, but when we first knew them the 
Balches were hving in Newport, near the second beach at 
Purgatory. Lizzie's admirers were legion. They had begun 
with the British officers stationed at Montreal when she 
was living there, and with one of these, Lord George Hamil- 
ton, a charming man and very handsome, we all went to 
tea at his house in London. In Rome she was supposed 
to be engaged to the Marquis of Bute — that would have 
been a brilhant match — and another winter the Spanish 
ambassador, who lived in the Villa Farnesina, was very 
attentive. She was living with her uncle, Mr. Mobray, 
who had an apartment in the Via Sistina just across the 
way from us, and we used often to see the ambassador's 
fine equipage, with its smart cobs, drawn up in front of her 
door for hours. 



But in spite of all this admiration, she never married — 
she had a quick tongue and perhaps this had something to 
do with it. At one time the Prince of Wales was a great 
friend of hers, and used to call on her often in London. She 
once said to him: 

"How's your wife?" 

"Her Royal Highness the Princess of Wales is very 
well," he answered stiffly. 

"Well, she is your wife, isn't she?" she remarked, a 
pleasantry which he hked so httle that, I believe, he never 
called on her again — he drew the line at jokes about the 

Among my pleasantest companions at the hunt was 
Theodore Roosevelt, father of T. R., who was spending 
the winter in Rome with his family. Mrs. Roosevelt was 
charming, and he an agreeable man and an enthusiastic 
horseman. We had many delightful rides together, not 
only at the hunt, but exploring many out-of-the-way places 
in the Campagna, he mounted on his fine horse that we 
always called the Gallant Gray and I on Lungarino. 

Theodore Roosevelt to D. M. A. Rome 

94 Maiderx Lane, N. Y., Sept., 1870. 
"... I have taken a place at Riverdale for the sum- 
mer, but there is no Campagna, with its lovely ruins, sur- 
rounded by snow clad mountains and interspersed by those 
charming stone fences. I cannot say so much for the wooden 
fences, as they brought my nice old gray horse so sadly to 
grief. I have a good saddle horse but am reduced to nothing 
but style now. The four horses that I drive might as well 
be oxen, they are nearly seventeen hands high, hold up 
their heads and tails and go with their feet just like ma- 
chines, and as you may imagine give me no pleasure, though 



I suppose the boys I pass on the road fed I am much to 
be envied. An Englishman the other day had the coolness 
to congratulate me on their training. 

At the rate at which Europe is travelling, before this 
reaches you you will probably be consul to a defunct gov- 
ernment, much to the delight of the American people; tluir 
sympathies were at first with Prussia, and now they do 
not know whether or not they should desert her for a French 

There were plenty of foxes on the Campagna, so we 
never had to resort to drag hunts; indeed, there were some- 
times too many, as the pack would then divide and lake 
up a fresh scent of some other fox who had crossed the trail 
of the first one. I w^as once riding close to the hounds and 
we came to cross-roads where two foxes were sitting, ap- 
parently talking to each other. As we surprised them, 
one took the right hand and the other the left and the 
pack separated, one-half of them after each fox. 

I trust that I may be pardoned for telling so much about 
my riding. I really do not do it from vanity, but because 
I remember those days so vividly, so pleasantly, that they 
insist on being recorded. Riding has been one of the chief 
delights of a long fife — indeed, as I have already told you, 
the most thrilling of all my early recollections is my first 
ride on Commodore Salter's large bay horse, in the orchard 
at Danskammer. 

I have been told by Englishmen that the hunting in 
Rome is much rougher and more dangerous than that over 
the average English country, being more like that of Ire- 
land. Occasionally there were accidents. One very sad 
one in 1870, though not in hunting, was that of Hartmann 
Kuhn, of Philadelphia, an awfully nice fellow, handsome 



and dashing. He hunted and had several fine horses, but 
though a fair rider had a bad habit of checking his horse 
just as he was rising to a jump, which was dangerous, as 
it threw the horse out of his stride. He was trying to cor- 
rect this habit and went out on the Campagna with his 
groom to practise, but he pulled on his horse so suddenly 
that it fell on him and injured him internally. The Em- 
peror's doctor happened to be in Rome and went to see 
him, but said there was no hope, and Kuhn died in a few 
days. He left a wife, who had been a Miss Gary of New 
York, and a little child. After the accident it was remem- 
bered that at a party at the Terrys' the evening before he 
had talked a great deal about a recent hunting disaster 
in England, remarking that to have a horse fall on you 
was the worst thing that could happen. I was riding with 
him the evening before his accident. We dismounted at 
the Porta Pia, and while walking home through the Via 
Babuino we got talking about the various floods caused 
by the overflowing of the Tiber, and he showed me a wall 
in a little side street on which the height of floods in Rome 
was marked. 

Everybody knows the tradition about the fountain of 
Trevi — how if you drink of its waters the night before your 
departure you will surely return once more to the Eternal 
City before you die. So the evening before I left I went 
to the fountain, and kneeling at its basin I took a draught. 
I don't remember whether or no I uttered a prayer that 
I might return, but I certainly had a strong hope that the 
prophecy might be fulfilled. Alas ! it never has been — and 
now there is no probability that it ever will be. Twice since 
I left I have been back to Italy, as near to Rome as Naples. 
But to Rome I have never returned. My wife went there 
in 1906, but thirtj'-four years of absence had so changed 



everything that it made her very sad and homesick. Most 
of her old friends were dead, and when she went U> look 
at our old house in the Via Sistina she found thai the ancient 
walls had been refmished like a modern French apartnu-nt- 
house and not a vestige remained of the former beauty 
wrought by three centuries of time and decay. 




"Star-crowned citadels, golden isles in a violet sea." 

— Palgrave. 

One should always arrive in Venice in the early morn- 
ing, as I did that summer day in 1872, when I stepped out 
of the stuffy train, and saw the gondolas swimming on the 
lagoon in the flush of dawn, all so gay and beautiful. A 
few days before, my wife had sailed for America with my 
two little children and a Roman nurse, and after seeing 
them off at Havre I started on the Fourth of July to spend 
the summer in Venice. Just after my family left me, I went 
through a pretty "bad quarter of an hour," for there came 
a report that a French hner had been lost, and for some 
time I could not be sure that it was not the ship that car- 
ried all I had in the world. 

But after that, everj-thing was perfect, except the mos- 
quitoes — "zanzari" as the Italians aptly call them. Ever}-- 
where were signs, "Try our Fidibus !" a pastile one burned 
in the room at night, paralyzing to the mosquito but to 
humans almost as noxious as the pest himself. My wife 
lamented the heat I should have to endure, but it proved 
nothing to what America went through that summer. I 
never saw the thermometer higher than eighty-three, and 
at Fishkill-on-the-Hudson, where she was, it went up to a 
hundred and stayed there. The bathing at the Lido was 
dehghtful, especially the return across the water in the 
cool of the evening. I agree with the Itahans in thinking 



Venice an ideal watering-place — except for fleas and mos- 

They said in Venice that Phillips Brooks, Willie Mc- 
Vickar — both afterward bishops — and Richardson the archi- 
tect, all enormously tall men, once went to the Lido together 
to bathe. Beginning with Richardson, one after the other 
applied to the bathing-house man for bathing suits; he 
managed to squeeze Richardson into one of the little gar- 
ments adapted to his Italian customers, but was appalled 
when Phillips Brooks made the same demand, and actually 
turned tail and ran away in horror when the giant McVickar 
appeared before his astonished eyes. Willie McVickar was 
the biggest man I ever saw out of a circus. 

I stayed at Venturini's, a small hotel overlooking the 

harbor near the Bridge of Sighs, where I had stopped the 

summer before with my family. Vcnturini was a persistent, 

bustling little man — much like one of his own mosquitoes — 

who lighted on you whenever he got a chance and buzzed 

j you to death with the glories of his hotel. Distinguished 

! visitors are the breath of life to Italian landlords and they 

! delight in spreading their names and titles on the bulletin 

i board in the front hall, so of course I figured as **Q)nsoIc 

j Generale degli Stati Uniti d'America," and when my brother 

( Gouverneur came we were amused to fmd him posted as 

Signor Armstrong "Gouvernatore de New Y'ork." 

The Haseltines were at Venturini's, and so was George 
Yewell, who was painting a fine interior of the ducal palace. 
Later on Yewell painted a good deal in Eg\'pt. When he 
first worked there, he got rather discouraged— he couldn't 
seem to get the right efi'cct of atmosphere. He was com- 
plaining of this one day to several other painters, when he 
was interrupted by a stranger wearing a fez, who turned 
out to be the brother of Edouard Frere. "You must re- 



member," he said, ''that you have never before painted 
in a country that is absolutely dry. In Europe on a bright 
day the air is clean, here it is full of dust. Never forget 
that the sunshine here is always thickened with dust.'* 
Yewell found this advice was just what he needed. 

Another friend at Venturini's was John Bunney, an 
Englishman who made most delightful water-colors, beau- 
tiful in drawing, and in color minutely true to nature. He 
was a charming man as well as an enthusiastic painter; 
so pleasant was our friendship that it lived through a cor- 
respondence of years. The illustrations for **The Stones 
of Venice" were his work, and at this time he was occupied 
with some more drawings for Ruskin, whom he knew inti- 
mately. I remember once speaking of Ruskin's advice 
to young draftsmen, "Always have in your pocket a well- 
sharpened pencil in a sheath, ready for any emergency," 
and I asked Bunney if Ruskin practised his own precept. 

"On the contrary," he said, "he never had any pencil 
or paper with him and always borrowed mine!" 

Bunney's many years in Venice had shown him every 
nook and corner; no street was too tortuous, no palazzo 
or picture too out of the way, for him to discover. He and 
I would sally out very early on delicious summer Sunday 
mornings, just as the church doors were opening for early 
service, and after a cup of coffee at a neighboring trattoria 
we would take a long ramble. Our favorite haunts were 
the old courtyards, surrounded by gray palace walls, with 
their wonderful marble wells, the sculptured curbs furrowed 
inside by the ropes and chains of countless years and bear- 
ing on their sides the coat of arms of the former knightly 
owner. The wrought-iron gratings which covered them, 
works of art in themselves, used to be kept locked, as the 
water-supply was limited in those days, and we never tired 



of the busy scene in the early morning when the wells were 
opened, the flocks of women hurrying to get water and 
carrying it away on their heads in beautiful old jars and 
copper repousse vessels, gesticulating, gossiping, and clam- 
oring, in gayly colored groups. 

Sundays were Bunney's hohdays, but all the week- 
days he painted industriously, usually keeping four differ- 
ent subjects going at the same time, for the four different 
periods of the day. Bystanders bothered him intensely 
while he worked in the streets, so he contrived an ingenious 
device, a raised platform, just above the height of an on- 
looker's eye; standing this out in the square, he would mount 
it by some little folding steps that he would draw up after 
him, and there he would sit secure from annoyance. Bun- 
ney's palette was very limited. Even in representing gold 
he confined himself to yellow ochre, and eschewed cadmium 
because, he said, it would fade in time. Vcddcr remarked 
w^hen I mentioned this: "That's all very well, but what 
would he do if he had to paint a fellow perfectly covered 
with cadmium?" 

I know another painter who says that he uses only white, 
black, vermihon, and yellow ochre, and avers that he can 
paint anything with these colors. Some one asked him 
what he would do if a sitter insisted on wearing a blue coat. 

''Why, I suppose," he said with a shudder, "I should 
have to get some bkie!" 

"What kind of blue would you use?" 

"I don't know, I'd ask the color man." 

Bunney and I went out to Murano to sec the cathedral 
and were shocked to find that it had recently been restored. 
The fine old carved woodwork was gone; the stone walls, 
mellowed and stained by time, refinished to a glaring new- 
ness; the whole thing put in excellent repair, and simply 



ruined ! It looked like a perfectly modern building. Al- 
most all restoration works havoc with beauty, but of all 
such sinners modern Italians are the worst. 

It goes without saying that I spent most of my summer 
in painting. San Marco absorbed me for a month, a mirac- 
ulous old place — indeed, it is hard to beheve that great 
cathedrals like San Marco have been made with hands; 
they seem rather like great trees to have grown more beau- 
tiful year by year. In San Marco the artists were privileged; 
we could sit and paint wherever we pleased, no one ever 
interfering with us; we were allowed to store our easels 
and canvases in the sacristy — there were so many of them 
that it looked more like a studio than the robing-room of 
a church — and Hberal fees for caring for our things made 
the sacristans our good friends. Never was there a more 
dehghtful place to work in. Not an hour passed without 
its picturesque incident — a procession of monks with ban- 
ners and crucifixes chanting the litany of the saints; boys 
with swinging censers, the pale smoke rising among the por- 
phyry columns and statues, and half veiling the giant gold 
mosaic figures of saints and prophets on the walls above; 
or perhaps, in a side chapel, a baby being christened and 
anointed with the holy oil. One day I saw two little girls 
playing hide and seek for a long time in the confessional 
boxes along each side of the nave. Nobody interfered, for 
the kneehng people in Itahan churches are usually ready 
for a httle outside diversion, and after a while they went 
into one of the boxes and confessed to an old white-haired 

Among the painters in San Marco, B. C Porter was 
my particular friend. His color was rich and fine, but, 
strange to say, he was color-blind, and often had to ask 
me whether the mosaic saint he was painting was garbed 



in red or green. But when he put it on liis canvas it was 
all right. Sanford GifTord was also color-bhnd, but he did 
not attempt strongly contrasted colors in his beautiful 
landscapes, but rather took refuge in monotones. 

Wilham Gedney Bunce was a man of whom we were 
all very fond, so fond that we guyed him a good deal, al- 
ways calling him "Old Bunce," why I don't know, for even 
now he is still vigorous and cheerful His painting is full 
of feeling and beautiful in color, but his drawing has always 
been his weak point. We were breakfasting one day in a 
little cafe near the Bridge of Sighs when some one Ix^gan 
chaffmg Bunce about this. 

"Why don't you learn to draw, Bunce?" he said. 

"Well, you see it's this way," he answered: "the trouble 
with my learning to draw is that as soon as I begin to draw 
any object it straightway begins to wipplc ! Now if I were 
really to try to draw that anchor," pointing to an old rusty 
anchor lying on the quay, "it would immediately begin 
to wiggle, and before I knew it would be off in a seasick 

At this time Bunce was ha\ing a great success with 
his pictures in England, for Queen Victoria had set the 
fashion by buying several of them. Bunce told me he met 
Ziem in Venice that same summer, I)ut didn't recognize 
him. In talking over various artists, Bunce remarked that, 
after all, there was only one man who had ever painted 
the true Venice — that man he said was Ziem. Whereupon 
Ziem smote his breast deh'ghtedly and shouted: "C'est 
moi — c'est moi. Je suis le Ziem!" 

Eugene Benson painted an interesting picture in \ enice 
that year. The scene is laid in a corner of the Doge's Pakice, 
in the gray light of very early morning. Some revellers — 
clow^ns, harlequins, and other gay masques— returning 



from a ball, come suddenly upon a corpse laid out for burial. 
It is a gruesome but dramatic subject, treated with skill. 
Benson was the stepfather of Miss Dudu Fletcher, the 
author of " Kismet," a well-known novel in its day, but I 
tried to read it over again not long ago and found it pretty 
dull. I fancy most **best sellers" grow flat in forty years. 
About this time William Graham, an American painter 
whom I had known very well in Rome, married his Italian 
landlady and settled in Venice, in a httle house on a canal 
near the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, in front of which 
stands one of the grandest statues in the world, Verrocchio's 
CoIIeone. Graham's things were fine in feehng and color, 
but he painted few finished pictures, contenting himself 
with making numberless careful sketches from nature 
which he was never concerned about selling. He was so 
modest and retiring that he let clients hunt him up, and 
was therefore more appreciated among his fellow artists 
than by the general public. He had such a hard time getting 
along that his friends were much pleased when he married 
the lady, as she was well-to-do, an excellent cook, and made 
him very comfortable. They thought he was well provided 
for for life. But, alas ! she only lived for a few years and 
*'poor old Graham," as everybody aff'ectionately called him, 
was again drifting about. During the regime of his efficient 
wife he became trim and well set up, with neat collars and 
cuff's and well-brushed clothes, but he soon lapsed into his 
old threadbare ways. He was a tall, thin, solemn-looking 
man, with a dry sense of humor. Before he became a painter 
he had been in the gold diggings of California, a ** forty- 
niner," and kept a grocery store at one end of a little vil- 
lage. At the other end of the street fived a jealous enemy, 
a rival grocer, who threatened to shoot him on sight. 
Graham had a headstrong mule, that sometimes ran away 



and was generally unruly. One day as he mounted his 
mule, it took the bit between its teeth and ran with him pcll- 
mell, right through the village and straight into his rival's 
shop. His startled enemy, revolver in hand, was about 
to shoot, when Graham with great presenee of mind thrust 
his hand into his pocket, pulled out a dollar, and said : '* Give 
me a pound of sugar!" When the enemy found a rival 
transformed into a customer before his eyes, his wrath was 
appeased and they became firm friends. 

When Graham started out from Rome on a sketching 
tour for the summer, he never decided beforehand where 
he was going, but would board a train and whenever they 
stopped he would take a look at the landscape, and if it 
seemed paintable he would get out and perhaps spend the 
whole summer there. In the course of time he turned up 
in New York and brought with him all his art accumula- 
tions of many years — pictures, tapestries, rugs, and what 
not, all for sale. He had many good things, among them 
a small and excellent example of Tiepolo, who was just 
then being discovered by connoisseurs, after a long sleep, 
and becoming the fashion. As I wanted to help Graham 
along, I told him that I might find him a purchaser for this 
picture, for which he asked a hundred dollars. I mentioned 
it to Francis Lathrop and told him that Graham would 
take two hundred and fifty for it. L:ithrop was delighted 
with it, thought it very cheap, and took it at that price; 
so I felt I had done pretty well for Graham. C. C. Cole- 
man bought one of his rugs for a small price and sold it 
for thousands, but with his usual generosity he shared his 
profit with Graham. 

Having sold his "roba," Graham could no longer keep 
away from Italy. The last I heard of him was in Cipri, 
where his old friends Veddcr and Coleman looked out for 



him at the last. He was a dear old fellow, gentle as a child. 
Fortunately his lovable qualities endeared him to his friends, 
who never failed him in hard places, and he floated through 
Hfe, as Disraeh says, "like lilies on the stream." He had 
few w^ants, and if he had enough of painting from nature 
he cared for nothing more. He had a happy life. 

Venice is filled with little stands for the sale of fruit 
and miscellaneous articles, one favorite dish being strips 
of fried pumpkin. Snails are also in demand, not the large 
snail of commerce which we all know^, but a httle thing the 
size of a small pea, which I have never seen except in Venice. 
They are very cheap, a centime buying a quantity. When 
a purchaser buys a handful, they are handed out to him 
on a large vine-leaf with a small piece of wood like a tooth- 
pick, with which he extracts them from their shells and 
consumes them as he idles along the street. While I was 
sitting painting one day, I observed two wayfarers stop 
at one of these stands. One spent a centime for a vine-leaf 
of snails. He did not offer any to his friend, who watched 
him feast with hungry eyes until they were almost gone, 
when he could stand it no longer and timidly asked for 
one, but the glutton dechned — it seemed to me about the 
meanest thing I had ever seen. Centimes were used in 
Venice a great deal because of the extreme poverty of the 
people. You know, at every landing-place for gondolas 
there is always an old fellow bearing a hooked stick to hold 
the gondola in place, who helps the passenger to alight 
and, of course, expects a gratuity, usually a ten-centime 
piece, equal to one cent of our money. I once meanly 
dropped a centime in the old man's cap, and he felt so in- 
sulted at the smallness of the gift that he turned his cap 
over and dropped the coin into the water; but I think it 
was only bluff — no one in Venice would throw away even 



a centime, and I am certain thai when I had gone he dived 
in after it. 

Haseltine and I spent a great deal of time in the antiquity 
shops, very keen about finding good things cheap. And 
what splendid chances for picking up "roba antica" there 
were in those days ! Not once have I regretted anything 
that I bought, saving all my regrets for not buying many 
things that I coveted but did not think I could afford. The 
dealers always asked much more than they were wilh'ng 
to take, often three or four times as much, and they despised 
you for a green "forestiere," if you immediately gave them 
their price. Brass plates of the fifteenth century were much 
prized and were plentiful in those days, when few people 
except artists were collectors of bric-a-brac. Whenever 
one of their numerous festas came along, all the people took 
a holiday and thronged the streets in their best clothes; 
booths would be erected along the pavement, decorated 
with green boughs; those for the sale of fried fish invariably 
displayed a row of these brightly polished brass plates, 
about eighteen inches across, usually with a scriptural sub- 
ject in the middle and Gothic lettering around the edge. 
Most of them were cheap modern imitations, but among 
them would generally be one or two choice old ones which 
were always for sale at some price or other, generally about 
twenty-five francs. I acquired several on these occasions, 
and Haseltine bought two or three dozen for his Wnv palazzo 
in Rome. One of Haseltine's most cherished possessions 
was a splendid tapestry that he had bought from the great 
Fortuny. I happened to learn that it was probalily one 
of a set belonging to the Spanish royal family, one of which 
was missing and was supposed to have been stolen. Hasel- 
tine was a good deal disturbed by this report, fearing that 
it might be claimed, but I don't think it ever was. 



In Venice, the summer before, I heard of some old tapes- 
tries in a private house; the owner threw them down from 
an upper-story window into a courtyard and spread them 
out there for me to see. I was fascinated by one of the 
smaller ones showing a pretty garden scene, with many 
small figures, charming little knights and ladies, strolling 
about under the trees — always designated by its owner, 
who spoke broken English, as the one with the "small 
fidgers." I liked it immensely, but the price was six thou- 
sand francs, so I did not consider it. 

When I came back the following summer, the owner 
would turn up every now and then when I was painting 
in the streets and ask me how much I would give for the 
tapestry with the "small fidgers." He always refused my 
offers, but finally, when the summer had passed and "fore- 
stieri" were few, he began reducing his price and at last 
came down to three thousand francs. A few days before 
I left, I told him that it was his last chance, and offered 
him five hundred francs, which to my surprise he promptly 
accepted and threw the tapestry down to me out of the 
window. I have it now and have refused a good price for 

It was in Venice that I bought, for a hundred francs, 
one of my best things, a very fine marriage chest carved 
with a lovely design in low relief. There is an exact duplicate 
of it in Perugia, the design attributed to Perugino. It had 
dolphins at the corners, but as their heads were gone I had 
a fittle Roman wood-carver make some heads which matched 
the old work exactly. This man in the Via Capo le Case 
had a genius for imitating the old carving. With a few 
rude tools — a saw, a chisel, and a mallet — not following any 
design, he cut things right from his own head that were 
really fine — not the sandpapered stuff glued on a flat back- 



ground that the carvers do in Florence, but solid work, 
the design melting into the Hat surface but shelving the 
sharp marks of the chisel, hke the modcMing of the Itah'an 
sculptors of the fifteenth century or the work of Augustus 
Saint Gaudens. 

I was once driving in a cab in the outskirts of Paris 
with Saint Gaudens when we espied in a little shop two 
old Gothic carved oak panels. We immediately jumped 
out and bought them for a trifle, each of us taking one. 
Afterward in New York, I lent mine to McKim and he used 
it as a motive and as a model for the carver, in the style 
of cutting, for the panels of the beautiful pulpit in the 
Church of the Ascension which he designed and had car- 
ried out under his own eye. It was also in Paris, in a car- 
penter's shop, that I discovered a splendid chest, covered 
with pigskin and profusely studded with ornamental copper 
nails in intricate designs, with bronze handles and lock 
in the form of lovely dolphins. It is of about the time of 
Louis XIV, and may have belonged to the Dauphin. Stan- 
ford White admired it so much that he took a rubbing of 
it for some leather work which he was then doing. It was 
in another carpenter's shop, this one on the Via Sistina 
in Rome, that I found two small bronze portrait medallions 
of the fifteenth century, and worthy of the period, of which 
I have never seen any reproductions. 

A terra-cotta bas-relief for a shrine, which I discovered 
in Florence in 1872, is of the time of DonatcIIo, a Madonna 
and Child, most delicately colored and with lovely faces. 
There is one in Turin by DonatcIIo with figures exactly 
like mine, but where mine has a flat background with a 
sort of arabesque or tapestry design, that in Turin has two 
wreaths interlaced. I bought this for thirty-five francs. 

One of the best antiquity dealers in Venice had his shop 



in a splendid old palace on the Grand Canal, its ceilings 
covered with fine old faded frescoes and everything about 
it just as it had been in the fifteenth century. Strange to 
relate, though he was quite up on all phases of ancient art, 
he had another and very different caHing— he was a butcher ! 
It is hard to understand how he could reconcile himself to 
occupations so incongruous. His daughter usually sat in 
the shop and did the selhng, and as I wanted badly a re- 
pousse brass plate which they had, I would offer her twenty- 
five francs for it whenever I happened in, but she always 
decHned. The day before I left Venice I walked in — the 
daughter was sitting there — I put down twenty-five francs 
on the counter and walked off with the plate under my arm. 
She threw up both hands and exclaimed: 

"ManodiDio! Mano di Dio ! " 

I also bought in Venice a very unusual marriage-chest 
front, of the fourteenth century. It is made of walnut, 
carved in low relief with figures of huntsmen and horses 
returning from a boar-hunt, black with age, but brightened 
with the remains of gilding in spots here and there. De- 
ciding to treat it as a shelf, I got the Capo le Case wood- 
carver to add a grotesque head at each end and a shelf above, 
and later I had it built into a mantelpiece at Danskammer 
with good effect. 

One day, wandering into an ancient Venetian palazzo, 
I saw hanging in the hall an etching by Albert Diirer — 
the horse with a mailed figure walking by its side — and 
bought it for ten francs. I don't know whether it is an 
original or not but it is good enough to be. Perhaps it is 
by Marc Antonio, who engraved Diirer's things in Venice. 
I remember in Padua asking an antiquity dealer if he had 
any old books. He said, yes, that he would show me a 
few, and took me to an old palace where the garret was 



filled with at least a thousand volumes, most of them of 
very early printing, with vellum bindings and many with 
metal clasps. He told me I could help myself to any book 
in the collection at a franc each, but I had no means of 
carrying them. I bought only one, a treatise on some Latin 
particle, with a stamped leather binding, classic heads and 
ornaments, and brass clasps. 

When I went to a new place in traxeUing, I often sought 
out the antiquity shops before I visited the great sights, 
and now when I look at my little collection at home each 
object has a history and recalls some delightful hunt in 
out-of-the-way corners of many an old city. But I must 
not let my love for "roba antica" run away with me, al- 
though I am mentioning all these acquisitions partly to 
show how cheaply in those days one could pick up really 
good things. What treasures I could have secured for the 
Metropolitan Museum if they had let me buy for them ! 

I once had an adventure in an antiquity shop that might 
have been more serious than amusing. One afternoon I 
visited Innocenti's, in the Via Frattina in Rome, and ex- 
amined some coins that Innocenti himself showed me, one 
of them gold, about the size of a twenty-dollar gold piece. 
I thought that I returned it to him, but the next morning 
while shaving I took up my waistcoat and to my horror 
found this coin in the pocket ! With the lather still on 
my face I hurried into my coat and rushed down to In- 
nocenti's and found him just taking down his shutters, 
for it was not yet eight o'clock. I gave him the coin with 
breathless apologies. He was not disturbed — he said that 
he had seen me put it in my pocket, but knew that it would 
be all right. 

That summer in Venice most of the artists and writers 
would meet at Florian's celebrated restaurant umicr the 



colonnade of the Square of San Marco, and there, grouped 
around little tables, we would listen to the band, eat ices, 
drink coffee, and consume "caramelli" that men brought 
around on trays — candied fruits of every description, grapes, 
plums, and apricots, speared on bits of wood like tooth- 
picks. In those days, living in Venice was extraordinarily 
cheap, and two people could dine at a good restaurant for 
sixty cents. The doors of Florian's were never closed day 
or night — had not been, it is said, in a hundred years. Alas, 
they are closed to-day, in 191 7! 

When the Austrians were in possession in 1869, their 
smart light-blue and white uniforms were everywhere, and 
I thought these elaborately gotten-up officers were the 
handsomest men I had ever seen. And when I first sat 
under the arches at Florian's hstening to the music, it was 
the Austrian band that played for us. But in 1872 they 
had given way to the Italians. The strains of the band 
floated across to us from the opposite corner of the square, 
bathed in silver moonhght; every hour the two Moors on 
the clock-tower would beat out the time with clanging 
strokes; flower-girls would saunter by and pin little bouquets 
in our buttonholes. We had pleasant times at Florian's, 
under the arches. 

There was a foolish little game we used to play at 
Florian's— some one would throw a half-smoked cigar out 
on the pavement and we would proceed to bet as to whether 
a passer-by from the right or from the left would pick it 
up; the loser would pay for the ices or carameHi. Hasel- 
tine hked more substantial fodder than ices, however, and 
he would often sHp away for half an hour and adjourn to 
the Hotel Baur for one of their famous beefsteaks, and 
come back to us redolent of onions. 

Henry James was one of the most interesting of the 



men one met at Florian's. My first acquaintance with 
him was at a picture gallery in Bologna in 1869, ^^hcrc we 
fraternized in discussing the pictures, and he was then a 
handsome young man, not yet famous. At this time in 
Venice he had "arrived," and had already done much of 
his best work. Another literary man I met in Venice was 
T. Adolphus TroIIope, accompanied in' his lovdy daughter 
Beatrice. He looked a good deal hke his brother Anthony, 
a bluff, hearty man, rather stout and red. 

^ You never paint in the streets of Venice without some- 
thing amusing happening. As I was making a sketch one 
day of a marble column with a cross on the top and steps 
around the base, I casually put in the figure of a pretty 
young girl who happened to sit knitting on one of the steps. 
I had just got her in to my satisfaction when she strolled 
round behind me, and reaching deftly forward, before I 
could stop her, with one sweep ©f her thumb wiped the 
whole figure out of the picture. Like the Indians in the 
West, the peasants hate to be sketched, thinking it sub- 
jects them to the power of the evil eye. Another time I 
was painting the window of a church from a gondola moored 
quietly under the wall; in the stern lay the gondolier, 
stretched flat on his back with his mouth wide open, en- 
joying the usual siesta. Suddenly, without warning, a pail- 
ful of slops was cast from an upper window, directly into 
his peaceful face. He was deluged. With a shriek the 
poor fellow dived headlong into the canal, clothes and ail. 
I wonder if the fishing-boats in Venice are still as Ix'au- 
tiful as they were in those days: their colored sails, usually 
a rich amber, adorned with some device — the more am- 
bitious with a Madonna, a crucifix, or some such reh'gious 
emblem — the nets a warm brown, strung up to dry on the 
masts and rigging and hanging in graceful folds; the black 



hulls painted on the prow with quaint names, such as 
" Honora Fatica " or *' Rene di Mari." The time to see them 
in their glory was the early morning, when they returned 
in great fleets with their catch of the night before to their 
chief rendezvous, the quay back of the PubHc Garden. 
I spent many happy mornings in the comfortable seat of 
a gondola, painting these charming little vessels grouped 
along the shore or dotting a distant lagoon. Those were 
ideal days ! 

John W. Bunney to D. M. A., New York 

Fondamenta San Biagio, Venice. Jan., 1874. 

"... I have not forgotten the pleasant companion- 
ship we had in Venice. I heard from Graham that you 
had gone in for art at last and set up a studio in New York. 
May your fullest hopes and liveliest anticipations be fully 
realized, and when love is the foundation-stone can one 
desire a better wish for a fellow worker ! 

Last summer we had cholera from June to October, 
close quarantine by way of the sea, and no bathers. I could 
look across from my balcony to the Salute and the Giudecca 
and not see a single vessel. Nearly all the gaiety in Venice 
was confined to the artists, who kept up a constant run of 
dissipation in the way of dancing at the Lido and picnics 
at Sant' Elena. Some of them admitted to me that they 
felt no disposition to w^ork, and thought it might be the 
scirocco or the bad air of Venice, at which I grinned and 
said nothing! Yewell was here and worked hard; he went 
to Cadore for a month and the sketches he did there pleased 
me much. His things in the church here have in them such 
a look of marble and truth of colour that I feel he is going 
on fast, by steady indomitable courage in not turning 
aside either to fashion on the one hand or tricks of clever 



execution on the other. Graham showed me a delicious 
bit outside one of the gates of Rome, sueh sweet (cvlinir 
and quiet subdued colour, not naturalistic, but very prx'tic 
such a picture as one could turn to in anxious irritable mc> 
ments and get peace and strength. Then we had some 
Spaniards from Paris, whose work gave me food for thought • 
I don't say they were entirely satisfactory, but they had 
a fascination that was not only attractive but satisfactory 
Well, about my own work— I think, or rather I know, 
that I can do things now that I could not when you were 
here. But it is a hard fight to keep pace with clever exe- 
cution on the one hand, and French feeling on the other,— 
not that I despise clever execution or French feeling.' I 
look on with a great desire, when I see how freely men do 
that which I cannot, how much they get with scarcely any 
effort or means; and my reverence is great for that lovely 
feeling which the French and Spaniards get into their work. 
Now when are you coming back to Italy and Venice? 
We often talk of you all, and iMaggie and Pippo would be 
glad to see their pretty h"ttle golden-haired playfellow 

Every morning for years after I left Italy, with my first 
w^aking thoughts I would begin to plan how I could return, 
and often I regretted that because of the inadequate salary 
I had resigned my position as consul-general. But a.s I 
look back now I am satisfied. I am glad that my children 
were brought up Americans. 




"Youth is a house that has no stairs at all, 
And like a ship at sea is manhood's prime." 

The Falcone was an ancient Roman trattoria, opening 
its hospitable doors just back of the Pantheon on one of 
the crooked streets that tie themselves into a dozen bow- 
knots in an effort to wriggle somehow into a respectable 
part of town. To those famihar with modern Rome the 
vicinity of the Pantheon will seem an unexpected spot in 
which to discover a favorite cafe, but in the early seventies 
the Falcone was much patronized by the artistic fraternity. 
The billowy primitive stone floor and the tables furrowed 
and black with age could not detract a whit from the fra- 
grance of the macaroni sizzling in the next room, while the 
heads of old wine-casks that studded the walls but reminded 
us that there still remained much chianti to be met and 
conquered. The American and English artists who en- 
joyed the Falcone's savory meals were not always famous, 
but they satisfactorily enough made up for the lack of ap- 
preciation in others by at any rate unreservedly admitting 
to each other that they were far and away the best. 

Here it was that the sculptor Rhinehart (or "Rhiny," 
as he was known to his fellows, a man **of infinite wit") 
was host at a jolly dinner one sultry July night in 1872 — 
the 3d of the month it was, for I remember how patriotic 
we became as morning drew near. And it had drawn dis- 
gracefully near before all the tales were told and all the 



songs sung by the convivial crowd, among whom I remember 
Vedder and Coleman. At the long table also sat George 
Simmons, the English sculptor whose "Falconer" adorns 
a rocky knoll in Central Park, The name of my next neigh- 
bor was Augustus Saint Gaudens. His personality strongly 
impressed me, and there and then began a friendship 
destined to last till the day of his death. 

When my new-found friend and I sallied out after dinner, 
we came upon Vedder sitting on one of the large stones at 
the corner of the Via Frattina and the Piazza di Spagna, 
gazing with solemn attention at the moon as it hung In 
quiet glory over the Pincian HilL Dawn was just touching 
the skies and the chill of early morning was in the air. But 
from that position not all the expostulations of Saint Gau- 
dens and myself could budge Vedder, and after a time we 
forbore and left him still sitting on his stone in silent con- 
templation. The next day I departed for Venice, and a 
year passed before I could renew my acquaintance with 
Saint Gaudens. 

The end of a year saw us both on this side of the At- 
lantic, and many were the experiences we had in New York 
in the old building on the corner of Fourth Avenue and 
Fourteenth Street. It still is occupied by the German Sav- 
ings Bank, but in those days there were a number of vacant 
up-stairs rooms used as studios. We each rented one of 
these, and for several years I saw him almost daily; dis- 
couraging and depressing years they were for him, although 
maybe not really so hard as the earher ones he had spent 
as a student at the Beaux Arts. 

Saint Gaudens had been working for some time on a 
small recumbent female figure, which was finally cast in 
plaster and sent to the Academy of Design. It was re- 
jected. He had also before this, in Rome, made a marble 



figure of "Silence" for a Masonic temple, but the Masons, 
knowing little of art, didn't like it and were prevailed upon 
to accept it only after he had spent weary weeks at work, 
himself cutting and chipping the marble after it was already 
in place. They now congratulate themselves, it is said, on 
having knowm enough to secure the w^ork of a great sculptor ! 

The father of Saint Gaudens was a shoemaker who 
kept his shop next to the old Academy of Design in Fourth 
Avenue. I often met him. He was an erect old French- 
man with a fine leonine head, an aristocratic bearing, and 
good blood in his veins, I am sure. Saint Gaudens had 
no regular education to speak of, though his active mind 
readily acquired bits of knowledge, and later on in life he 
was a very well-educated man. At the time of which I 
speak, how'ever, he was innocent of even an acquaintance 
with many of the masterpieces of literature. He once asked 
me where he could find an accurate story of Moses. Rather 
amused, I lent him the obvious book. Late that night he 
came back into my studio in a great state of excitement, 
carrying in his hand the Bible I had lent him. 

"I've never read this before," he exclaimed. "It's 
the most remarkable thing I have ever seen." 

Saint Gaudens often told me of the trials he had suf- 
fered as an apprentice to a cameo-cutter, a Frenchman, 
who spent his hohdays and Sundays in shooting snipe on 
the Weehawken Flats. The young craftsman w^as com- 
pelled to walk all day, lugging his master's game-bag and 
running after the snipe he shot. Never would he admit, 
even in confidence, that the bag was a heavy one, so loath 
was he to give "that fellow" credit for anything; but there 
is not much hazard in the guess that snipe were then in a 
more flourishing condition on the "Flats" than is the case 
to-day, and that the sport was pretty good — for the master. 



Cameo-cutting was soon abandoned, but not before 
Saint Gaudens had become very skilful at the trade. This 
training I have no doubt greatly influenced his whole ar- 
tistic career. Upon returning to America after his first 
trip abroad he was desperately poor, and during most of 
one winter he and the sculptor Palmer slept in a storeroom 
on the same floor as our studios, using as beds the great 
empty packing-boxes of some furniture that had come to 
me from Italy. 

In those days Mr. Robert Gordon's house was a 
rendezvous of artists and their friends, and every winter 
Mr. Gordon gave a large reception, with a splendid spread, 
to which the artists considered it quite the thing to be in- 
vited. Entirely different from any of the present-day func- 
tions, they were a distinct feature of New York life, and 
were looked forward to from year to year. To one of these 
I obtained an invitation for Saint Gaudens, and while we 
were there introduced him to Doctor Noyes, the famous 
surgeon and oculist. The conversation having turned u|X)n 
hospitals, Saint Gaudens related to Doctor Noyes how 
once as a child, while playing in his father's workshop, he 
had cut a long gash in his arm and as a result had been 
carried to a hospital near by. Pulling up his sleeve, he 
showed the scar. Doctor Noyes said: "I remember the 
wound as distinctly as I do the brave h'ttle boy. I was 
the doctor who sewed it up !" 

In his younger days Saint Gaudens was shy and avoided 
somewhat the company of the great, and he described to 
me as one of his early trials his modelling of a bust of a 
distinguished diplomat. This gentleman's doctor had or- 
dered him to soak his feet, so when he posed for my friend 
he sat wrapped up in a blanket on a high chair, his feet 
stuck in a tub of water which it was part of Saint Gaudcns's 



duty to keep hot. When the bust was well under way, Saint 
Gaudens noticed that the distinguished diplomat kept 
bringing the conversation around to Socrates and Seneca, 
Marcus Aurelius and Plato. The reason for this was not 
long obscure. 

"I find," said the D. D., "after a careful examination, 
that all these distinguished men had very broad foreheads 
—just broaden mine a bit." So Saint Gaudens, afraid to 
object, meekly compHed. Repeated urgings and the re- 
suhant broadenings brought the forehead finally to the 
point where it seemed to be affected with some dreadful 
swelling disease. But this did not bring complete satis- 
faction to the heart of the sitter. He suggested that these 
same great forerunners of his were also notable for having 
had very deep-set eyes. So poor Saint Gaudens was forced 
to bore and bore, deeper and deeper, until he almost pierced 
through to the back. He told me this story with great 
excitement, interspersing in the narrative many uncom- 
plimentary remarks on celebrities in general, and illustrat- 
ing it all by puffing out his cheeks and making violent bor- 
ing gestures with his forefinger. He said he'd give any- 
thing to get hold of that bust and smash it to atoms. 

By nature modest and retiring, nothing bored him more 
than to be thrust forward, especially if the particular kind 
of torture happened to be public speaking. His literary 
style was terse and vivid, and he showed it to advantage 
in his letters, frequently illustrating them, too, with humor- 
ous scraps of drawings and using for signature a caricature 
of his own long profile. His manners were always most 
attractive, but he cared Kttle for dress and despised all its 
afi"ectations. I remember that he bore a particular grudge 
against the pointed shoes that used to be fashionable, and 
was continually making fun of mine. But this lack of in- 



terest in clothes did not hinder him from admirably de- 
picting them, as witness the Farragut and Lincoln statues. 
La Farge told me he thought Saint Gaudens in his Lin- 
coln had obtained the most successful result that he had 
ever seen in the struggle of dealing arlistically with the 
problem of modern dress. 

In 1877 I found that Mrs. Edward King thought of 
erecting a monument at Newport in memory of her hus- 
band, and it occurred to me that Saint Gaudens and La 
Farge would be an excellent pair to execute the work, so 
I introduced my two friends to each other with this in view, 
and spoke of them to Mrs. King. They were promptly 
engaged, and this was the first really successful order secured 
by Saint Gaudens. Soon after their first meeting, La Farge 
asked Saint Gaudens and me to dine with him in his studio 
in the old Tenth Street building, and the beautiful King 
monument resulted from their discussion that evening. 
Another of the joint work of these two friends of mine was 
the reredos in St. Thomas's Church, afterward destroyed 
by fire, of which I shall speak when I set down my impres- 
sions of La Farge. Saint Gaudens alludes to both the monu- 
ment and the angels in the following letter, in which he 
also speaks of the bas-relief he had made of me while wc 
were together in New York. This was the first of the in- 
teresting medallions he afterward often made. The letter 
is signed, as was his custom, with an outline of his own 
most characteristic profile. 

Augustus Saint Gaudens to D. M. A., Danskammcr 

Rome, i8~8. 
". . . Such a time I had as you never saw. I did it 
because Dr. Morgan gave me to understand that Li Farge 
would be ready in time. I was sure he would not be, but 



as I did not care to bear the responsibility of the delay, 
I did the work. That was last October, La Farge has not yet 
finished ! I regret very much he did not tell me he would 
not be ready for then I would have passed a great deal more 
time, studied up the Renaissance and produced a better 
thing. It was not a money affair, I spent more than I got 
for it, and I regret I was not allowed at least to do as well 
as I could. *J'ai pris mon parti,' as they say in French. 
I said something has got to be sacrificed so I'll go in for 
the general character. 

After that was over I finished the tomb, and within 
a week or so it will be on its way to America. On New 
Year's day I left Paris for Rome. We had a splendid trip, 
stopping tho' only at Pisa. Do you know I believe my 
stay in America has done me no harm. I appreciate all 
the grand works more than ever. On arriving in Rome I 
had a hard time getting a studio, but am finally settled in 
Simmons', the Englishman's studio. I have half of it and 
am hard at work; the shawls are hung on the wall, and 
on them the colored medallions as of old, the reclining figure 
in front as usual, and on a piece of wood hung on the shawl, 
a small medallion in bronze which is the portrait of one of 
my best friends of whom I have the fondest recollections; 
I modelled it in New York just before I left. Rather a 
short man, a heavy moustache, an open eye — Mr. La Farge 
said that his face looked in parts as if it was 'tied up in a 
knot' — notwithstanding that he's a pretty good kind of a 
fellow. I have sent that medallion in a box, with a plaster 
bust of Admiral Farragut, both of which are to be exhibited 
at Kurtz gallery in March. When the exhibition is over, 
Mr. Walter Shirlaw, the President of the Association, will 
according to my authorization, remit the medallion to Sig- 
nor Bracciaforte in English — Bracciajorte in English, not 



the medallion — The gentleman I mean is nut twu steps 
from where you now stand, and I give it to him as a slight 
token of esteem and friendship. I hope it will hv exhibited 
and delivered in the way I sent it, on a plain piece of oiled 
walnut, held on by six tacks, with a screw nail to hang it 
on the wall, so — [drawing by St. C] 

Vedder is still here and complaining somewhat. He- 
has a great deal of talent. Coleman I have visited but 
have not seen his work. I like some of Graham's work a 
great deal, — after this year he is going to live in Venice. 
Griswold is still the same. All compkiin more or less, but 
say this year has been a little better than the last two or 
three. My brother Louis who disappeared from Paris in 
June '76 wrote me a letter a few days ago and you can imag- 
ine my joy. I had almost given him up. Simmons, in whose 
studio I am, has left Rome indefinitely, married a young 
American lady and is now settled in London. ThiTc, I am 
at the end of my news for you. I have told you a lot al^out 
myself, knowing it would interest you. I trust you will 
do likewise, but much as I would like to hear from you, 
yet I want you to feel that if I don't get news I won't feel 
a bit neglected. I have never thought that a person's friend- 
ship could be measured by the regularity of his correspon- 

I suppose by this time that you are settled down in 
Newburgh and that you have been painting away hard with- 
out any interruption. That- interruption, I mean— is the 
bane of cities. So as to work I have to lock my door and 
answer no one. I hope Mrs. Armstrong is well; also your 
little ones. Please give her my kindest regards and with 
best wishes from Mrs. St. Gaudens, believe me sincerely 
your friend. Aug. St. Gaudens. If you desire anything 
here 'je suis a vos ordrcs.' Mr. MacMillan the Consul 



seems to be a great favorite. I have not seen him yet, but 
to-day Mrs. St. G. goes there." 

Saint Gaudens finished the King monument in Paris, 
whither I went in the spring of 1878 just in time to see him 
giving it the final touches. I had been appointed Director 
of American Fine Arts at the Exposition of that year, and 
during the time it lasted I lived in the Saint Gaudens apart- 
ment at 3 Rue Herschel, in the Latin Quarter. 

His studio was close by in the Rue Notre Dame des 
Champs, in a huge old dance-hall, and high up in the gal- 
lery there a couple of other artists and I often painted, 
much amused by the alternate waves of exultation and 
despair that sw'ept over Saint Gaudens as he worked. That 
summer Augustus started his brother Louis at work, and 
it was in the old dance-hall that the latter modelled his 
first head. Saint Gaudens made for me a bas-relief portrait 
of my little daughter Helen, besides finishing some other 
small pieces of work, but his best efforts that summer were 
spent on the Farragut statue, w^hich kept him busy for 
some time to come. 

His Farragut working model was set up in the centre 
of the room, w^hile the rest of us painted in the gallery, once 
occupied, I suppose, by the orchestra. Thence at odd times 
were wafted snatches of song that might have startled even 
the waltzing Parisians of the old days; from one corner 
would resound a mellow bass: 

"You secure the old man; 
I'll bind the gur-r-I." 

And the couplet would be completed antiphonally from 
another remote quarter: 

" Once aboard the lugger she is mine." 


Saint Gaudens always made it "lubber," and we could 
not laugh him out of this unnautical substitution. 

One of our lively circle was young Bloomer, always 
amusing and very talkative. He insisted upon singing 
whenever he painted — and he painted steadily. One day 
somebody called out, "I'm all through. Come on, fellows: 
let's go out to Fontainebleau and hear Bloomer paint." 
Various bets were chalked up as to whether or not we should 
find Bloomer performing to his usual accompaniment; of 
course he was. 

I asked Saint Gaudens to help me hang the American 
pictures in the Exposition, and had him appointed by the 
commissioner-general. This work, as he afterward de- 
scribed it, was "something like a battle." A large number 
of these pictures had been selected in New York by a dis- 
tinguished committee of American connoisseurs. All these 
gentlemen, being amateurs and patrons of art but none 
of them actual painters, wanted only pictures by "leading 
artists." So I, who acted as a sort of adviser and buffer 
between the artists and the committee, had difficulty in 
persuading them to accept pictures by some men who had 
not the reputation they afterward acquired, but who even 
then unquestionably were worthy of representing the United 
States at the Paris Exposition — notably W'inslow Homer 
and John La Farge. (The latter's picture, "Paradise Val- 
ley," received an honorable mention.) Even at the end, 
there were still a number of the younger and best artists 
who were left unrepresented. 

The following letter is interesting as showing the work 
that was admired at the time by a good artist, and recom- 
mended for the Exposition. 



R. Swain Gifford to D. M. A., N. Y. 

Association Building, N. Y, Feb. 19, 1878. 
"... I consider these as good as anything these 
painters have done. Eastman Johnson, 'The Husking 
Bee,' owner Sarony; Charles Miller, *The Sheep-fold,' 
owner, I think, Robert Gordon; Samuel Colman, 'The 
Alhambra,' in oil, and his water-color, *TowTr at Florence,' 
owned by one of the Astors. William Sartain has painted 
some small figure subjects and some street scenes in Algiers 
that I think better than any other American painter's. 
There is a man by the name of Dewing in Boston that does 
charming figure subjects, a new man and little known, but 
I believe him to be a remarkably fine painter. I am con- 
vinced you will not be able to find a representative pic- 
ture by John La Farge here in New York. The large New- 
port picture that he considers his best landscape, exhibited 
at the Academy about three years ago, is owned by a Bos- 
ton lady. I heartily hope the committee have been able 
to see Mr. Clark and secure the 'Cedars of New England.'" 

Some pictures were selected by Saint Gaudens and 
myself in Paris, these mainly being the w^ork of the students 
there. Thus our duties and responsibihties were very mixed 
and it naturally followed that w^e got the criticism for all 
the sins of omission, though in reality we w^ere responsible 
only for those pictures accepted in Paris and for the hang- 
ing. The third man on our committee was Mr. , always 

referred to by the newspapers as "The Great American 
Connoisseur," a name he never afterward succeeded in 
getting rid of. He soon became rather terrified, I imagine, 
at having to do anything, and refused to come to the meet- 
ings or to countenance any of our actions, saying that we 



were too young and too radical— "perfect iconoclasts," as 
he expressed it. 

It must be admitted that we partly earned this title, 
for when we came to hang the pictures we placed those we 
considered best on the line and the worst near the ceiling, 
entirely irrespective of the names or reputations of the 
various artists concerned; there, Saint Gaudens remarked, 
the latter would do the least harm. Tliis was unprece- 
dented. Result: we displeased a great many of the artists, 
for some of the great were ''skied." Eor example, Bloomer, 
who had never before had a picture exhibited, sent a very 
nice landscape and we hung it on the hne. This sort of 
thing upset some people, and of course we came in for our 
share of criticism, but on the whole the exhibit made a 
good impression, and unprejudiced people, especially for- 
eigners, said it was the best made by the United States 
up to that time. Later on, Russell Sturgis saw our com- 
pleted work and expressed his entire approval. But for 
the purpose of showing that even the ordinary American 
criticism was not all adverse, the following quotations from 
an editorial in the New York Times seem amusing enough 
not to be out of place: 

"These young persons have struck terror to the heart 
of the American colony by judging pictures on the ground 
of artistic merit displayed in them, regarded by such lights 
as they possess. Carried away by their mistaken enthu- 
siasm for pure art, they have rejected pictures of great 
size, which show, almost as faithfully as a colored photo- 
graph, miles and miles of our unequalled Western landscape. 
They have failed to appreciate the genius of a man who 
samples a large tract of country, and condenses his samples 
into a 'Heart of or 'Soul of this or that country. They 
have made the pitiable mistake of supposing the size of, 



and length of time occupied in the painting of, a picture, 
has little or nothing to do with its artistic merit. Pride 
of intellect and vainglory of the artistic temperament can 
go no further. Their downfall is certain. 

"On the other hand, it may be urged that an expurgated 
show of American art is a novel and refreshing thing, which 
cannot fail to impress well those Europeans whose good 
opinion is of value. It may be said that the academical 
American painter is a nuisance at which the judges in Eu- 
rope laugh heartily; and also that many absurd pictures 
are every year admitted to the Salon. But if things are 
sifted to the bottom, it will readily be seen how hollow all 
such arguments are. 

"What was this committee appointed for? To select 
and hang a collection of paintings representative of the 
present state of American art. Mark that word, repre- 
sentative. How have they done it? By neglecting the 
bad and taking the good. Now, American art is mostly 
bad. Ergo, the exhibition is not representative of the pres- 
ent state of American art. They ought to be taught that 
America never puts her best foot forward, and does not 
want to be represented otherwise than by mediocrities. 
As it is, we may leave them to the results of their ignorance 
and temerity. The American colony in Paris has plenty 
of time on its hands, and will probably make the lives of 
the committee a burden to them." 

Saint Gaudens was always frank; he made it a point 
of honor when asked about any work of art to answer ex- 
actly as he thought. One day we had been in the Russian 
gallery, where hung a gaudy and thoroughly bad picture 
w^hich we both agreed in disliking. As we were coming 
out, some people whom Saint Gaudens knew slightly but- 



tonholed him and asked him about that particular picture, 
whether he didn't admire it immensely. He briefly ad- 
mitted that he did, and escaped. 

"Saint Gaudens," I said as we walked along, "you're 
not living up to your principles. That's a bad picture and 
you know it." 

Turning abruptly around, without a word, he hurried 
after the people, and called out: 

"I beg your pardon, sir, I shouldn't have said that was 
a good picture: I know for a fact that it's dreadful !" 

We had the naming of the juror for the United States 
on the International Board of Awards, and after some con- 
sideration it seemed to us that no man could be better fitted 
for the place than Frank D. Millet. We accordingly recom- 
mended him, and most acceptable he proved to the other 
jurors because of his engaging personality and varied talents. 
The chairman of the jury was Sir Frederick Leighton, a 
handsome and attractive gentleman, well qualified for the 
difficult position that he held, not only on account of his 
ability as an artist but also through the wonderful linguistic 
powers he possessed. I heard that at the meetings he spoke 
to the jurors of the many different nations each in his own 

One amusing incident connected with the exhibition 
sticks in my memory. On the day that it opened, all the 
officials assembled in state before their respective buildings 
while President MacMahon, accompanied by his magnif- 
icent suite, walked down the Avenue of Nations, stopping 
before the different houses in turn and congratulating the 
commissioners. Young Captain Rogers, in charge of the 
United States marines at the exposition, was standing in 
a brilliant uniform with Commissioner-General McCormick 
and other American officials in the space before our build- 



ing. To Marshal MacMahon it seemed that Captain Rogers, 
the only man in uniform, must be by far the most important 
member of the group, and accordingly it was he whom he 
greeted elaborately. Every one was quite taken aback 
and young Rogers stood in silent amazement until the mar- 
shal had briefly congratulated him and passed on, won- 
dering to himself, no doubt, at the embarrassment with 
which the "director" had received his speech of welcome. 

About this time Saint Gaudens introduced me to his 
good friend Bastien-Lepage, with a view to my studying 
with him, but nothing came of it except a number of in- 
teresting conversations with the famous French artist. 
He once said to me that there was no more mystery about 
painting a head than about painting a bottle and that this 
was one trouble with beginners — they never were willing 
to paint just what they saw. He was then at work on 
"Joan of Arc," the magnificent picture now in the Metro- 
poHtan Museum, and one day the great Gerome dropped 
in to see and criticise it. He advised him to put in a dis- 
tant view behind the little peasant house with which we 
now are all familiar. Bastien listened politely. Then when 
Gerome had gone, Saint Gaudens asked him if he intended 
to follow the advice. "Not at all," he said. "I know just 
what I want, and it may take me years, but I'm going to 
get that and nothing else." No one, now, denies that he 

Lepage always was immensely, almost extravagantly, 
admired by Saint Gaudens. But then we must remember 
that it was one of the latter's characteristics to be extremely 
generous in his praise of any work that he considered good, 
no matter by whom or according to what method it was 
executed. Although he of course always liked best the 
works of the Italian Renaissance, he never bound himself 



to any one school, liberally praising, I recollect, artists 
as different as Pelousc, the brilliant Fortuny, Jules Breton, 
and Daubigny, ail of whom had pictures in the Exposition. 
Among American artists I think Saint Gaudens most ad- 
mired La Farge; at any rate, he often spoke of him as "a 
very big man," reiterating how much indebted he was to 
him for criticisms and suggestions made while they were 
working together. 

Saint Gaudens ranked very high Paul Dubois, one of 
his student friends in the Beaux Arts days, and he never 
lost an opportunity of seeing and praising his work. At 
the Exposition Dubois had a striking monument of General 
Lamoriciere, and of the figure of "Faith" on this Saint 
Gaudens drew a charming pen-and-ink sketch for an Ex- 
position article in Scribner's. This drawing is interesting 
as being perhaps the only one ever made by him for pub- 
lication. Mercie was another favorite, Saint Gaudens con- 
sidering his "David," in the '78 Exposition, one of the most 
successful of modern sculptural works. 

But he was just as unsparing in his condemnation of 
bad work. Once at an exhibition in New York we together 
had tried to find a single passably good picture. At last 
Saint Gaudens burst out in fury with: "Let's get out of 
this. These "pictures are so bad they're positively in- 

It was Saint Gaudens who introduced me to his dear 
friend Luc-Olivier Merson, one of the most charming men 
it has ever been my fortune to know. He was good enough 
to take me into his studio as his first pupil. While I was 
printing there, Merson was at work on his "Flight into 
Egypt," the now familiar picture of the X'irgin and Child 
a;>Ieep in the desert between the feet of the Sphinx. Great 
w IS the indecision as to whether or not he should put a 



moon in the picture, and he must have changed it a dozen 
times before he finally decided to finish it without the 
moon itself but with a charming effect of diffused moon- 

Merson did not use living models much, but preferred 
to make miniature wax figures, clothing them in floating 
garments of vari-tinted tissue-paper. Little angels with 
paper wings askew, and scantily clothed bambinos, were 
forever littering his studio. I think I am at liberty by now 
to relate the story of a beautiful little picture (or rather, 
the remains of a beautiful little picture) that hung in a 
closet off this studio. Merson told me how one afternoon 
in Rome, shortly after he had won the coveted '*Prix de 
Rome," having been at work all day in his studio putting 
the finishing touches to this picture, in walked Carolus 
Duran. A friend of Merson's father, the famous art critic, 
it seems he imagined he ought to show some interest in the 
young man's work. So he stopped in for a visit. Merson 
exhibited his little picture and awaited the artist's crit- 
icism. With deliberation Duran walked over to the easel, 
seized a large brush, mixed some colors together, and before 
the young man could prevent him had rapidly smeared 
it all over the picture — long yellow and green swipes, hori- 
zontally across. Then without a word, he turned slowly 
and walked out, leaving Merson in doubt whether to be 
amused or furious. At all events, he kept the remains as 
a memento of the great artist's first visit, praying only 
that his humble studio might not be again honored. 

At the Exposition, an entire room was in some cases de- 
voted to the works of one artist. One morning Saint Giu- 
dens, Bunce, and I were in the Salle de Jules Breton when 
the artist himself came in. We were introduced, but for 
some reason or other Augustus and I were called away 



almost immediately. Knowing the limitations of Buncc's 
French, I felt, after a time, that I ought to hurry back and 
rescue him. But on re-entering the gallery I found my 
anxiety had been needless. Bunce's ingenuity surpassed 
his linguistic ability. He had picked out Breton's picture 
of a peasant girl lying asleep under the apple-trees, had 
folded his hands on the back of the chair, laid his head on 
them in imitation of the girl, half closed his eyes, and was 
murmuring between sighs "Tres, tres joli!" Jules Breton 
meantime was walking around the room, quite content not 
to interrupt with mere conversation so intense a contem- 
plation of his work. 

With Saint Gaudens I used often to go out to Frank 
Millet's place at Montmartrc, where we were always sure 
of meeting Maynard or Buncc or some of the others in 
our little Paris circle. A queer and picturesque place it 
was and full of oddities, the accumulation of years of 
travel and adventure. There were innumerable divans 
and hanging lamps, while quantities of strange weapons 
and musical instruments cluttered the corners. Foremost 
I remember, and by no means indistinctly, the weird bashi- 
bazouk in gorgeous Oriental dress whom Millet stationed 
as majordomo at his front door, thus succeeding in fright- 
ening nearly every one who came to the house for the 
first time. He had picked him up somewhere during his 
travels in the East, and had brought him along with the 
rest of the collection when he returned to Paris. 

Saint Gaudens was always in rather poor health as a 
result of his early hardships. Many times while walking 
through dingy little streets in the Quarter he pointed out 
the wretched cabarets where he had l^een accustomed to 
get his food during his sojourn in Paris. He said he had 
never recovered and never expected to recover from the 



effects of the messes he had been forced to eat while a stu- 
dent there. 

An especially intimate friend of Saint Gaudens was 
a French artist named Gamier, a number of whose beau- 
tiful enamels on copper are preserved in the Luxembourg. 
He not merely designed them, but like the enamellers of 
old he also did the firing, and a heavenly coloring resulted 
from his thorough workmanship. Garnier had seen service 
in the Franco-Prussian War, and many and thrilling were 
his accounts of the time when the French army was shut 
up in Paris to starve. Cat meat was considered a luxury, 
and stalking cats came to be his favorite amusement. In 
particular he told (with vivid French gesticulation) of one 
moonlight night when, on the outskirts of the city, he went 
crawling along the dark edge of some deserted houses fring- 
ing an open square, on the outlook for a late supper. Sud- 
denly he spied a lone cat scurrying across the desolate square, 
its long shadow weirdly distorted on the uneven cobble- 
stones. As he softly raised his pistol to take aim, he be- 
came aware of another and a bulkier shadow. It was a 
German intent on the same cat. Simultaneously each 
recognized the other as an enemy, and turned his weapon 
upon the bigger game. After an exchange of shots the 
German was silent, and Garnier could never be sure just 
what had been his fate. At any rate, when he looked around 
the cat had fled, and he went supperless back to his bar- 

I never was more surprised in my life than when I found 
that the French Government was going to give me the 
decoration of the Legion of Honor for my services at the 
Exposition. About ten o'clock one night, after I had gone 
to bed, while I was living with the Saint Gaudenses, a little 
fellow named Ellis, an artist, came with a message from Mr. 



McCormick saying I was expected at one of the Ministries; 
so I got up and dressed while he waited for me, and we went 
there together. There had been a lot of wire-pulling for 
decorations, but it had never entered my head that I was 
to get one, so it was a complete surprise when on reaching 
the Ministry, where a number of others were waiting, I 
found that I was to be decorated. With no ceremony what- 
ever we were all given our red ribbons, crosses, and diplomas. 
Several other Americans were given decorations for their 
exhibits, among others Edison for his phonograph. I learned 
afterward that I owed this honor to Mr. Waddington, the 
minister of foreign affairs, to whom the names of all 
those considered eligible for decorations were submitted 
for approval. He told me that when the list was sent to 
him my name was there, but that it had been scratched 
off. He replaced it, and mine was the onl}- person con- 
nected with the Exposition for whom he asked a decoration. 

Mr. Waddington was a dehghtful man, an Oxford grad- 
uate, and the only man I have ever known who spoke two 
languages so perfectly that both Frenchmen and Englishmen 
believed him a compatriot. He was afterward Ambassador 
to Russia and to England. His wife was Mary AIsop King. 
As I have said in a previous chapter, my wife and I had 
known the Kings very well in Rome, and I enjoyed seeing 
them again the year I was in Paris. Mrs. Charles King 
was a most lovely old lady and when I came to call I was 
always pleased that she welcomed me with a kiss as if I 
had been a son. 

It was at a dinner given by the Waddingtons for Gen- 
eral Grant that Henrietta King told me that I owed the 
decoration to Mr. Waddington. This dinner was the grand- 
est affair of the kind I ever went to. There were seventy- 
eight guests seated in an enormous dining-room, at a table 



about fifteen feet wide, the whole lighted by wax candles 
in chandeliers and in candelabra along the table, alternat- 
ing with magnificent vases of flowers. In spite of the num- 
ber of guests, the dinner was perfectly served. Henrietta 
King told me before dinner that she had asked if I might 
take her in, but had been told that I was not nearly 
swell enough for the sister of madame; so I sat between 
two Frenchmen and did the best I could with my bad 

General Grant was at this time on his trip around the 
world, admired and feted wherever he went. I am reminded 
of a little incident in connection with an entertainment, 
at which I was an inconspicuous guest, given by the minis- 
ter of agriculture in one of the great palaces belonging to 
the government. On this occasion we were first enter- 
tained by a play given by the company of the Theatre 
Frangais, followed by dancing and a supper. I was hand- 
ing in my invitation and my visiting card, and writing my 
name in a book in an anteroom, as we were requested to 
do, when I heard a voice behind me saying disconsolately 
in English: 

"I've left my invitation at home and I haven't got any 

I turned and found that it was General Grant. Of 
course, as soon as I explained that this was the ex-President 
of the United States, he was politely invited to enter and 
we went in together, but at the head of the aisle we were 
stopped again by two guards and again I had to vouch 
for my illustrious companion. Instantly, with many ob- 
sequious gestures he was snatched away from my side and 
wafted far away to the very front row of velvet chairs, 
where he sat next to the Marechale McMahon, wife of the 
President of the French Republic, flanked on his other side 



by six Corean Ambassadors, quaintly costumed, with wing- 
like decorations in their hair. 

When I saw the general afterward at supper, he said 
to me: ** I'm not a bit grateful to you for your help. I can't 
speak a word of French, so I couldn't talk to the duchess 
or understand a word the actors said, and as for those other 
fellows they couldn't speak anything." 

The general came quite often to the Exposition, and 
when I showed him around he was friendly and cordial, 
partly because of his great affection and admiration for 
Mr. Hamilton Fish. He often said how he owed more to 
his advice and sympathy when he was his secretary of 
state than to every one else in the cabinet put together. 
Grant was said to be a reticent, sulky sort of man, but I 
found him, on the contrary, talkative and kind. 

Merson, with whom I was studying, was awfully pleased 
at my getting the decoration. I remember his exclamation 
of delight, **VoiIa le pic de rouge!" when I first went to 
his studio wearing the ribbon in my buttonhole. I got 
an amusing letter about it from Picknelf, a brother painter 
whom I had gotten to know very well at Pont Aven, when 
I went to Brittany to paint that summer, after my part 
of the Exposition was in order and I could get away from 
Paris for a while. He and a lot of other good fellows were 
staying at the Hotel des V^oyageurs, a picturesque old place 
where the dining-room walls are covered with the sketches 
of any number of grateful painters who had sojourned there. 
I believe it has since been overrun by tourists, and I fear 
the redoubtable Julia is no longer the hostess. I remember 
her taking some fellow who chanced to offend her by the 
nape of the neck, and sending him flying through the open 
door with one turn of her powerful wrist. But to ut, her 
artist friends, she was hospitahty itself. 



W. L. Picknell to D. M. A., Paris 

Hotel des Voyageurs, Pont Aven, Finisterre. 
Oct. 31, 1878. 

". . . Have pity on the sorrows of a poor old man, 
and if this paper should be covered with blotches know 
that they each and every one represent tears, bitter tears, 
at your departure ! You well know, dear friend, how de- 
lighted I am at your good fortune and how sincerely I con- 
gratulate you. It will be a bitter pill to your enemies, but 
all the more sweet to yourself and friends. Your letter 
did indeed have good news for me, for I had begun to feel 
blue at the prospect of ye frame bills, and the expenses 
my two large pictures were drawing me into. My picture 
of the 'White Road' is at Goupil's. They wrote me a 
flattering letter off'ering to take my pictures on sale, but 
I must not lose a moment from my Salon at present. The 
Garden came out very well and I have sent it to the Dud- 
ley and put £500 on it. Hope I may sell. 

There has been a glorious addition to our little colony. 
An English General, wife and two daughters, 21 and 23 — 
figures representing daughters — charming, beautiful and 
talented. You, knowing the old chick, can imagine the 
feelings of his innermost heart. The Baron still haunts 
his old haunts and blesses us his children with good advice. 

Now when you read the following awe-inspiring con- 
fession do not exclaim, *What a fool ! ' Your humble servant 
has builded him a house out on ye lande, and yesterday did 
begin to rub charcoal in a most wonderful manner on to 
ye canvas. Eight feet by 5^^, how is that for size? 
for cheek? for future headaches? and sleepless nights? 
Pelouse told me to paint an important picture this year. 
So thought the best way to get out of the scrape was to 



make it important in size. Walked about one thousand 
miles before finding subject, wore out two pairs of shoes, 
ten pairs of good nature ! Subject once found, got permis- 
sion to build on ye peasant's land. Had said peasant to 
dinner, gave him good wine, good cigars, and about ten 
p. M. he went staggering home, a happy if not a wiser man. 
Result of dinner, jolly good friends with peasant. He Liughs 
at my jokes in French — very appreciative fellow. Two 
cartloads of colors sent to chateau yesterday, 800 doz. 
brushes, 4 shovels, and small cannon, American flag ex- 
pected tomorrow, cider bottle hid in one corner. All crea- 
tion thinking of working in my part of world, the hut ap- 
pearing to be a good place to leave pictures in. Shall have 
newspapers, etc. and charge regular London club prices. 

Having exhausted your good nature by this tirade, will 
shut up on that line, *if it takes all summer.* The Sher- 
mans are enjoying their stay at Blois very much. I have 
Sherman's two pictures well under way. I envy you the 
glorious opportunity you have of studying the Exposition. 
I should like to have seen it again but could not afi'ord it 
as frames for my Giant and Royal Academy loom up like 
a nightmare in the near future. Jones's Salon is getting on 
well. Swift is going to paint his from the sketch you hked, 
Bretons loading mast on old boat. Am frightfully tired 
tonight, having been at work all day on big toile. 

My friends all treat me with so much kindness, 'always 
more than I deserve,' that I hardly know how to thank 
them. You shall be best man when I come to grief! Please 
kiss St. Gaudens for me, and remember me most kindly 
to Mrs. St. Gaudens, and accept a whole flood of good wishes 
from your Pont Aven friends, and a brother's hearty shake 
of the hand from your sincere friend, 




Picknell was a splendid painter. Robert Gordon bought 
a beautiful picture of his, a scene on the Concarneau road, 
and Picknell wrote me afterward a little apologetically 
that he was going to paint another of the same place — this 
picture is the ''Route de Concarneau" now in the Corcoran 
Gallery in Washington — and explained that the figures 
would make the two canvases entirely unlike. 

While I was at Pont Aven, I went with Picknell and 
Sherman to Quimper to stay with Mr. Gourland, a fine old 
Enghsh gentleman who had a wonderful place there with 
everything in it that heart could desire — a studio for times 
when he felt like painting, a stable full of good horses and 
fine hunting dogs in his kennels, seventeen hundred bottles 
of rare wine in his cellars, and his house crammed with 
beautiful and interesting bibelots. While we were there 
a peasant brought him some bronze hatchets that he had 
dug up among the Druid remains which are strewn about 
that country, and as Mr. Gourland had a lot of that sort 
of thing already, he bought a couple for a franc and a half 
and gave them to me. 

Vedder had a charming picture in the Exposition, the 
"Young Marsyas" playing on his pipes to a group of at- 
tentive rabbits. In the following letter he alludes to a 
strange experience he had with UArt. They asked him 
for a photograph of the picture to put in the magazine, and 
he had one taken for the purpose which they published, 
but abused it frightfully, adding that if the picture had 
any merit it was owing to the engraver ! No wonder Ved- 
der thought it a pretty cheeky performance. 

Elibu Vedder to D. M. A., Paris 

Villa Ansidei, Perugia. July 23, 1878. 
"... I am at last back in Perugia and glad to be here 
after my giro. I must say that each time that I get into 



the cars I vow that it will be the last time except under 
dire necessity. The small streets of Venice gave me an 
entirely new conception of heat. Here in Perugia one dcs- 
sicates gradually in a fine dry heat at least, but in Venice 
one boils. 

Saw Duveneck in Venice, who had painted a good 
portrait of Bronson, wonderfully touched in the lights, 
but sinking into bitumen, not color, in the shadows — in 
fact not really colorist's work. Saw Chase also; he had 
painted a splendid portrait of Duveneck, or picture rather, 
the head beautifully painted. Nice fellows both. Saw 
Bunce, who has become very frank in his criticisms — told 
Bunny to his face that his painting made him 'sick.' Du- 
bois looks well but I could not get to see his work. Graham 
is doing good things as usual. In Florence stopped with 
Launt Thompson. Had good times but hot. Saw the 
youthful Louis Lang, hair blacker than ever and he younger. 

At home found family all well. Griswold had come up 
from Rome a few days before, very weak from an attack 
of fever, sends regards. Yesterday I sent an answer to 
Mons. A. Ballou of L'Art. Carrie, or in other words Mrs. 
v., sends best regards. Give my best love to St. Gaudens 
and wife and of course to yourself I send all that is 'new 
and gymnastic* 

As ever your very much obliged friend, 

Elihu Vedder." 

The end of the Exposition was a celebration signal for 
all of us. Especially fondly do I think of the jolly time we 
had at a little supper I gave at famous old Foyot's to mark 
the event. Besides Saint Gaudens, at the long table sat 
McKim, Stanford White, Russell Sturgis, Fred Crownin- 
shield, Alfred Greenough, Frank Millet, and Frank Hascl- 
tine. Of all those brilliant souls only Crowninshield is 



still alive to-day, and the deaths of two of them were too 
tragic for words. 

Soon after the Exposition closed, Saint Gaudens and 
Gamier set off together on a trip to Italy, on which it has 
always been a regret to me that I was unable to go. While 
on the trip Saint Gaudens made a small sketch of a street 
scene in some Itahan town which showed beautiful tones 
of color and was remarkable for the reason that he almost 
never made sketches from nature. But though I did not 
see Saint Gaudens I heard from him, for he always kept 
up a hvely correspondence — that it was really lively the 
following letter, written soon after his return to Paris, proves 

Augustus Saint Gaudens to D. M. A., New York 

49 Rue N. D. des C. Sept. 24, '79- 

"Dear Armstrong — I'm going to surprise you by an- 
swering so soon, but the only way I can keep my conscience 
clear in regard to letter-writing now is to answer imme- 
diately. When last I wrote you I had two years' corre- 
spondence to clear up. I did so and don't mean to do it 
again — so here goes 

Farragut is finished, or nearly so — at least it will be 
cast on Saturday — and then the enlarging will take but 
a short time. The weather is simply 'gorgeous' for the 
last 20 days, and it is a relief after the wetting we have 
had. Mrs. St. G. comes home to-night. Old Fossil D. 
must be in a showcase in some provincial museum where 
he belongs, for I never see him; that other friend of ours 
is such a 'scallywag' that whatever he has said has, like 
Keats, (poor Palmer's quotation) been as if written in water. 
On the contrary, I have heard more good of you from the 
artists, now that the fight is over, than I heard harm while 
the row was on — truly ! 



I'm sorry you don't feel more encouraged with your 
work, but I guess it's a good sign. I'm completely and 
thoroughly befuddled and disgusted with Farragut; there- 
fore it must be very good — eh? Hope you saw White. 
He is one of the 'Biggest Bricks' I ever met. (SLang enough 
in this letter: it must recall the famous exhibition letter 
I wrote Cook or Gilder.) Saw a drawing of La Farge's in 
Harper's, Christ and Nicodemus, that I think is simply 
'big.' If Miss Homer goes over soon I'll send that knife, 
if not I'll bring it in April. 

Garnier has made a lovely enamel for you of your 
daughter, and it's hanging up in my studio waiting for 
somebody to bring it over to you — if you let me know of 
someone I'll send it. When it goes he will write you a note. 
I think C. E. ought to go in a Botanical showcase in the 
same museum with D. There now it's dark and I must 

^' Your friend, a r r- »» 

Aug. bx. Gaudens. 

Always the best of good friends. Saint Gaudens and I 
yet naturally saw less of each other during the following 
busy years in America than in the stirring Paris times. 
He and McKim and Stanford White several times came 
up together to Danskammer, my pkace on the Hudson, 
when we invariably talked over the Exposition and as in- 
variably decided that in a similar case we would do exactly 
as before — if given the chance ! 

In the spring of '92 iMcKim had for some time been 
slaving at the designs for his buildings at the World's Fair, 
and so when the work was well under way, collecting a 
number of his friends, he took us out to Chicago in a special 
car— Saint Gaudens, Millet, Maynard, La Fargc, Richard 
M. Hunt, George B. Post. William LafTan the editor of 
the Sun, and Mrs. Millet, Mrs. Lafifan and Miss Lockwood. 



Numerous artists had been employed on the different build- 
ings, my share of the work consisting in decorating the ex- 
terior of Machinery Hall, which I frescoed in the Renais- 
sance style. We were wined and dined by the Chicagoans 
and had an excellent sight of the skeleton of the Exposi- 
tion, which opened in all its glory some months later. 

Saint Gaudens was always making up little suppers, 
and on these occasions his manner was as warm and his 
quiet humor as charming as ever it was the first time I met 
him at the old Falcone. Above all, I delight in the remem- 
brance of the bachelor dinner that a number of us gave 
Stanford White on the eve of his marriage. A lot of things 
happened before that evening ended becomingly with a 
Spanish dance by Hopkinson Smith and Loyall Farragut, 
neither of whom could be persuaded to stop until they had 
entangled themselves and every one else in long wreaths 
of smilax. Great were the preparations for this dinner, 
and Saint Gaudens got a great deal of fun out of designing 
the menu, on which caricatures of White were interspersed 
with the more important items of the evening. Here was 
sketched White about to launch forth into one of the after- 
dinner speeches that he loathed; here we saw him pulling 
at his eternal moustache; and here appeared nothing but 
the moustache — but we recognized the likenesses as readily 
as we should if in these days we saw but a double row of 
teeth and a pair of spectacles on the cartoon page of a New 
York newspaper. 

The most remarkable and original of all Saint Gaudens's 
works seems to me to be the Adams monument in Wash- 
ington. When I went for the first time to look for it in 
the Rock Creek Cemetery, I made up my mind not to have 
it shown to me but to find it for myself. It was an after- 
noon in March, a grayish, sad day. Snow spotted the ground 



here and there, trying to obliterate the first signs of spring. 
I was alone, and the only sound was a slight rustling or 
sighing in the pine-trees above the tomb. I sat for a long 
time on the curved bench facing the figure, and I will not 
attempt to describe the supernatural effect it had upon 
me. The impressiveness, the solemnity of this thing, which 
seemed actually alive, I can never forget. 

And here is a part of a letter I got from Saint Gaudens 
in 1886. It will serve to bring to a close these disjointed 
recollections of my friend. It brings back even now to 
me the "thirst for it" that he speaks of — the wish (almost) 
that we had gone over again in '89: 

Augustus Saint Gaudens to D. M. A. 

New York, 1886. 
". . . Heigh, Ho ! We now know that we are both 
alive. We might as well be in separate planets as be in 
New York so far as seeing one another goes. Perhaps some 
day you will go to Europe and I will too, and then we will 
renew our friendship as of yore. We may go over as com- 
missioners to the '89 exhibit! and make another batch i)f 
enemies. Don't you thirst for it? I trust that thee and 
thine are well and strong; I can say that much for my side. 
Ever your friend, 

Augustus Saint Gaudlns." 




"I see, far southward, this quiet day, the hills of Newbury rolling away, 
Dreamily blending in autumn mist 
Crimson, and gold, and amethyst. 
And, where north and south the coast lines run, 
The bhnk of the sea in breeze and sun." 

— Whittier. 

It was by the merest chance that we spent one of the 
pleasantest summers that I remember at Curson's Mills 
on the Merrimac River. We made no definite plans that 
spring of 1875 ^^ New York, but simply packed our trunks 
with such things as we thought we might need during the 
summer and started off, going first to Newport for a visit 
to my sister-in-law, Mrs. Howard, and trusting to luck 
for what was to come after. 

We stayed for a while in Mrs. Howard's cottage on 
the chfTs, and managed to pick up there a gray kitten that 
henceforth accompanied us on our voyages. Besides the 
kitten, we had the three children, Margaret, Helen, and 
Maitland, and their nurse, Annie Martin. From Newport 
we made for Gloucester, but somehow we did not fancy 
it particularly — it smelt so fishy — so with all our impedi- 
menta we took the train for Newburyport. We did not 
know a soul in Newburyport, and the hotel was poor, but 
we discovered a nice hbrary founded by George Peabody, 
and a nice lady librarian to whom we appealed for advice 
— did she know any pleasant place in the neighborhood 
where we could spend the summer? She enthusiastically 



recommended Curson's Mills, four miles out in the country; 
so we immediately hired a trap and drove out there. It 
seemed attractive and Mr. and Mrs. Hoxie were willing 
to take us, so we moved out the next day and spent the 
entire summer. 

The old tide-water mill belonging to the Cursons, a 
quaint old building, stands at the mouth of the Artichoke 
River where it runs into the Merrimac. The httlc Arti- 
choke meanders along through a varied expanse of pretty, 
English-looking country, amid thick woods and wide fields, 
under an old bridge and out into the broad waters of the 
Merrimac. Near the mill was the Cursons' house, next 
door was the Hoxies', and this was the whole of the httle 

When w^e arrived at the Hoxies' with all our bags and 
baggage, of course the kitten was included, but when Mrs. 
Hoxie saw^ it she almost backed out of her bargain, for it 
seems she had made a vow never to have a cat in her house. 
However, after some persuasion she consented to accept 
us, cat and all. We brought so many trunks and other 
luggage that I dare say Mrs. Hoxie thought that we should 
turn out to be fashionable and fussy people, but she soon 
found that we were simple in our tastes and gave her no 
trouble. There were no other boarders, and everything 
was very clean, but the food was exceedingly plain; break- 
fast consisted invariably of cofTee, toast, and boiled eggs, 
while the other meals were of a hke simph'city, but as we 
never asked for any extras and took gratefully whatever 
was provided we got along very comfortably. I had a nice 
little room up-stairs with an open fire in it which served 
for a studio and sitting-room, but as I was out in the fields 
painting all day long we seldom used it except in rainy 



There was a sort of sand-barren near by, where yellow 
sand, beautiful in color, had drifted into picturesque lines 
and banks, varied by scattered clumps of scrub-oak, with 
the Artichoke running through it and broadening in one 
corner into a deep and shady swimming-pool. There had 
been an ancient Indian encampment at this spot, and the 
arrow-heads and other Indian remains which we often found 
there were always occasions of great excitement for the chil- 
dren, who played and dug in the sand. There was also 
a lovely pine grove along the Merrimac, Just above the 
beach where we all used to bathe. Near by, we gathered 
a profusion of delicious blueberries, and in the autumn the 
nutting was great fun. Never have I seen more beautiful 
foliage than we had that fall. I painted out-of-doors every 
day, my wife usually sitting with me and reading aloud. 
Among our books was a life of Goethe and some of Dar- 
win's works. The Hoxies had an excellent apple-orchard 
with quantities of particularly fine Porter apples, a conical 
yellow summer apple, most delicious. One of the children 
says she remembers creeping under the orchard fence and 
eating five of these enormous apples one right after the 
other, and creeping back feeling rather heavy — she was 
only five! When we moved back to Danskammer in 1877 
I planted two Porter apple-trees that grew and flourished 
for many years and bore large crops, but they never seemed 
to me to be quite equal in size, lusciousness, and beauty 
to the Hoxie fruit. They had a nice poultry-yard of parti- 
colored fowls of no particular breed, but picturesque, and 
I liked to paint them. For many years there was a sketch 
of some of these cocks and hens tacked up in Maitland's 
little room at Danskammer where we used to keep a list 
of the eggs gathered from our own fowls. 

Newburyport is an old town and there are some ancient 



houses in the neighborhood. Happening to hear of one 
not far away where they had some fine old furniture, and 
being always interested in such things, I made an excuse 
to go over there and got the owner to let me see it. She 
showed me all over it very politely, and I longed to buy 
some of the lovely old things she had, but there did not 
seem to be any dehcate way of approaching the subject 
and I had almost made up my mind that it couldn't be 
done and was coming away without suggesting anything 
so vulgar as a purchase, when she remarked coyly: 

"Folks most usually buy something when they come 
here, just as a sort of souvenir." 

I was only too dehghted, and immediately acquired a 
Hepplewhite sideboard, a graceful and charming piece, 
some pretty little Lowestoft cups and saucers spripped 
with roses, and several other nice things. I only paid thir- 
teen dollars for the sideboard, which we have used in our 
dining-room ever since". 

There was a boom in land that year at Newburyport, 
for silver had been found there in considerable quantities 
and there was great excitement; mines were started all 
over; speculators and prospectors thronged the place; 
shafts were dug in the most unhkcly places and farms were 
sold for marvellous prices. But I think it all came to noth- 
ing and a good deal of money was lost, for ahhough siber 
could be found almost anywhere it was not in sufiicicnt 
quantities to pay. 

Both of the Hoxies had been at Brook Farm, in fact 
they had first met there and been married in consequence, 
and they knew all the celebrated members of that tran- 
scendental adventure, Hawthorne and all the others, and 
many of these worthies visited them from time to time. 
As a result Mr. Hoxie was extremely interesting, besides 



being such a really fine man that he inspired respect. I 
became much attached to him. He had been a carpenter 
originally, but he was well educated and agreeable, one 
of the school trustees of Newburyport and a fine-looking, 
gray-haired old gentleman of very courteous manners. 
We became great cronies and in the end real friends. 

Mrs. Hoxie was a Miss Curson, of an old and respect- 
able family, and her sister Mrs. Marquand lived in the old 
Curson house near by, a rather nice country house. Mrs. 
Hoxie was an educated woman and well-read. But she 
was an independent person and did most of her own work, 
dressed in the plainest and ughest of clothing. She habitu- 
ally wore a short gown of brownish calico, tied around the 
waist with a white string; she had a ** hermit tooth" and 
was very plain in every way, but she was a good and inter- 
esting talker and would stop at any time in the midst of 
her housework, with broom and dust-pan in hand, to dis- 
cuss philosophy, education, "Shakespeare and the musical 
glasses," or any public question of the day. Her views 
in general were most advanced and she professed extreme 
democratic principles; she hated cats and was a prohi- 
bitionist of the deepest dye — anything to drink was an- 
athema to her — and in these days I suppose she would have 
been a suff'ragist, but at that time this was not a subject of 
discussion. She and her husband expressed like views as to 
democracy, but in reality I think she was rather ashamed 
of his humble origin although she never admitted it; but he 
had all the ear-marks of an aristocrat while she, in appear- 
ance at least, was much the reverse. 

William Hunt, the celebrated painter, spent most of 
that summer in the neighborhood, and so did Saulisbury 
Tuckerman, Robertson, and J. Appleton Brown, a delight- 
ful man who was an inveterate painter of apple-trees. Hunt, 



who had been a favorite pupil of Couture, was an enthu- 
siastic painter and a charming companion. He had a large 
class of ladies who came out from Boston at intervals and 
painted from nature. He had a painting van, drawn by 
a pair of horses, which was arranged with movable sides 
and curtains so that he could get the hght in any way he 
wished, and fitted up with all the canvases, paints, and other 
appliances that he needed. In this he travelled ail about 
the country, stopping wherever he found a paintable spot. 

Celia Thaxter was a friend of the Hoxies and used to 
visit them, and Susan Hale stayed most of the summer at 
Mrs. Marquand's. She was a sister of Edward Everett 
Hale and of Lucretia Hale, the author of the "Peterkin 
Papers." Besides being a most agreeable woman and a de- 
lightful companion, she was a good water-color painter 
and gave my little girl Margaret her first painting lessons. 
As the Marquands had a fine old barn with a swing in it, 
our children were over there all the time playing with all 
the little Marquands, the youngest of whom, Greta, after- 
ward married a nephew of Susan Hale. Miss Hale was 
very fond of swimming, and every morning was to be seen 
stalking through the pine grove on her way to the shore; 
dressed in a bathing suit with her black hair streaming 
down her back, she looked a good deal like an Indian. 

I often rowed down the river to Newburyport, in a pretty 
little light skiff I bought that summer, and made studies 
of the huge ships which were being built in the shipyards 
there. These were the yards which were so famous in the 
War of i8 1 2, when American privateers were fitted out there. 
I made many studies of the great ships propped up on the 
stocks before they were launched, intending to make pic- 
tures of them, but I never did ah hough they were fine sub- 
jects, looking enormous and quite splendid towering above 



one. They could be launched here and, while they were 
still light, could pass over the bar at the mouth of the har- 
bor on their way to India or some other far-off port, but 
they never could return to their home again. 

Altogether this was one of the pleasantest summers I 
ever spent, although it was the most simple life possible, 
entirely devoid of luxury. We all made the Hoxies a little 
visit in 1876. It was late in the autumn and there had 
been an early snow while the trees still wore their autumn 
tints and the effects were wonderful. I kept up a corre- 
spondence with Mr. Hoxie for many years, but he has long 
been dead. 

John A. Hoxie to D. M. A. 

Warwick, Mass. March, 1886. 

"... I made a visit last summer to the old home in 
Newburyport. As I stood upon the old bridge one evening 
you and Mrs. Armstrong were very forcibly brought to 
my mind again. It was Just such an evening as when we 
watched the newly risen moon appearing and disappearing 
behind the strata of clouds and throwing her bright reflec- 
tions in the peaceful waters of the upper Artichoke. Your 
absence made me feel quite lonely. I went to Newbury- 
port with my own horse, taking my granddaughter with 
me, and we had a very pleasant journey. The old place 
has been altered a good deal, that is, the house and barn. 
They have quite an elegant barn, and keep several nice 
horses for riding and driving, but they can't spoil the beau- 
tiful views of woods and waters. 

I have just returned from attending the funeral of an 
old neighbor, a man of eighty-five, who was born and 
always lived in this town. Another old gentleman, well 
along in the nineties, made an eloquent prayer. I never 
could be contented to spend so many years in such a town 



as this, and yet it is a healthy town with many inteHigent 
inhabitants; but it is too rough and too much to one side 
of the attractive places of business and civilization and 
intelligence for me to spend a whole life in. 

I have not been able to do as much work this winter 
as I did a year ago. I fear that old age is having an effect 
upon me. I tire when I take hold of any real work, and I 
am becoming forgetful. I can't keep track of my tools, 
and often the plans that I have formed for the next day 
vanish with the night. I had a fearful fright in the woods 
one day. I was sawing up a tree that had been turned over 
by the roots, and the top had all been cut away but one 
twelve foot log w^hich was attached to the root. As I was 
sawing that off and had got it nearly cut through — with 
a light or cut saw, which I could use alone — the root began 
to settle into its place, which raised the end of the log where 
I was cutting. I thought it would break off and drop in 
place, and turned to step away from it, caught my foot 
and fell on my hands, and as I did so caught sight of the 
log directly over my head about ten feet above me, and 
thought it w^as falling upon me, imagine the sensation ! 
But it was only for a breath of time, and it fell beyond mc, 
full 32 feet from where it originally lay. Old choppers here 
say they never saw such an instance in all their experience. 
But I did not think it would take so much space to relate 
this little affair. 

I think I shall have to give up peaches here, the trees 
grow well, but late or early frosts kill the buds or fruit. 
I have good plums. I get the upper hand of cucuHos by 
jarring them ofl on sheets and killing them. Write when 
you can." 

While we were at Newburyport I took a little trip to 
Bar Harbor and liked it so much that we all went there 



the next summer. The journey to Mount Desert was not 
an easy one in 1876, as you had to take a steamer either 
from Rockland or Portland, and they were both wretched 
old tubs. The Lewiston plied between Bar Harbor and 
Portland, but I once came back the Rockland way in the 
Ulysses — the Useless, as she was commonly called — through 
a dense fog that lasted till we neared Rockland, when the 
fog lifted just in time for us to see the countless islands 
all about us. But, fog or no fog, the captain, according to 
his custom, ran his boat full speed all the morning as if 
we were in open water; he did not appear to regard the 
islands at all, but steered partly by the echo that came 
from them and partly by instinct; it was extraordinary 
that he could do it without accident. At Rockland, where 
we made the connection with the railroad, we were sup- 
posed to get lunch at the station, but I found that the meal 
in the waiting-room consisted entirely of pies and cakes — 
we had reached what Charles Dudley Warner calls "the 
region of perpetual pie." I asked the waitress if I could 
have some bread and cheese; she said I might, but added: 
"You can't eat it here, you'll have to eat it in the kitchen." 
So I retired to the kitchen with my vulgar fare. 

In those days Bar Harbor was still pretty primitive, 
though there were several large hotels, Rodick's being the 
most important, and a few cottages, but there were only 
two real country places — the Lyons' and the Gouverneur 
Ogdens'. The Atlantic House was the next in importance 
to Rodick's and we rented a small cottage near by and 
took our meals there — "mealers" we were called by the 
natives. Living was delightfully inexpensive then. I re- 
member that lobsters cost three cents apiece in the village. 
There was not much to be bought in the village store, for 
the proprietor did not often renew his stock, remarking 



in a grumbling tone that it wasn't any use, "because as 
soon as he got anything somebody came and bought it." 
Along the road between Rodick's and the country school 
there were a few scattered cottages, and there was a saw- 
mill near the turn of the road that led to Mount Kebo, 
but there were no important dwellings, only a farmhouse 
or so. 

There were a lot of lovely young girls at the Atlantic — 
I remember a cheerful song of theirs, "Oh that bell, that 
Sunday morning bell !" — and there were any number of 
pleasant people in the little colony, but the life was very 
simple, entirely different from what it is now. Gayety, 
such as it was, was chiefly to be found at Rodick's. Mr. 
and Mrs. George Rives stayed there; she was his first wife, 
Miss Carrie Kean, rather an impulsive sort of girl. I re- 
member we were all standing talking one Sunday morning 
around the little fountain at Rodick's. Little Barclay 
Rives was running around and climbing about, in such im- 
minent danger of falling into the water that at last his 
mother picked him up and ducked him in— white suit, 
silk stockings and all — and then handed him to his nurse 
to be dried. The Miss Severs from Boston, whom we liked 
immensely, had a cottage, and so did the Minots. Miss 
Sever was very fond of poetry and shared my enthusiasm 
for "The Golden Treasur}," which she knew from end to 
end; but oddly enough she could not recite a single p>ocm 
word for word; she had such a poetical ear that she could 
not help putting in any word that sounded all right, and 
often her substitutes were an improvement on the original. 

We had a good deal of fun getting up a play, "Poor 
Pillicoddy," which finally was produced with great excite- 
ment in the schoolhouse, the only place at that time for 
any performance of the kind. Frank Haseltinc and I 



painted the scenery and used up pounds of our best oil 
colors and most of our other painting materials. I painted 
quite an effective seed store, Pillicoddy being a seedsman. 
Miss Mary Beach, Rufus King, Frank Macauley, Doctor 
Richee, and my wife were in the cast, and it went off very 
well. "Poor Pillicoddy" was a favorite play at that time. 
The Beeches gave it at their house in Second Avenue in 
New York — Henry Satterlee, afterward the bishop, was 
one of the performers — and my wife took part in it another 
time at the Waterburys* place in Westchester. 

I spent most of my time at Bar Harbor painting with 
Frank Haseltine, who was a cousin of the Haseltines in 
Rome. We became great friends — he used to stay with 
us afterward at Danskammer. One of our favorite sub- 
jects was the Bar, where the fish-nets for catching herring, 
a great industry in those days, were picturesque; and there 
were paintable bits about the Indian encampment close 
by. Haseltine and I also amused ourselves painting i 
"plaques," as it was the fashion to call them — the aesthetic 
revival was just beginning. We used to buy yellow earthen- 
ware pie-dishes in the village and decorate them in oil with 
irises and large full moons, and such poetic things, and 
hang them on the walls of our cottage, much to our satis- 
faction and the astonishment of the natives. Haseltine 
afterward became seriously interested in china painting, 
a revived art in those days, particularly in underglaze and 

Charles Howe was another pleasant man. I remember 
giving him some mushrooms which we had picked, but he 
had no faith in our mushroom lore and suspected them of 
being toadstools; so although he bravely determined to 
eat them he first wrote a farewell note to his sister, telling 
her he was doubtful as to the result of the rash meal, but 



hoped for the best. We knew all about mushrooms, so his 
fears were groundless. 

We stayed at Bar Harbor until late into the autumn. 
When we left in October every one had gone except Charles 
Howe; he came down to see us off and the last we saw of 
him was his figure crouched on the dock, completely cov- 
ered by his umbrella. I have never seen him since. 

This was the year of the Centennial, so from Bar Har- 
bor we went for a few weeks to Chestnut Hill near Phila- 
delphia, stopping on our way at Curson's Mills. The Cen- 
tennial Exhibition was a splendid thing for the country, 
a vast contribution to its development, and on the whole 
we enjoyed it, especially the Japanese exhibit; perhaps 
we should have been more thrilled if we had never been 
abroad. The crowd was terrific and sometimes amusing. 
The country people were forever losing each other. I re- 
member being asked by a distracted man whether I had 
seen anything of his family. 

"First I lost my wife," he cried, "then I lost my child, 
and now I've lost my mother-in-law — not that I mind that 
so much !" 

It was amusing, too, to see the people gaping at most 
ordinary things. A statue made out of butter was a favor- 
ite sight — every one was crazy to see the "Butter Woman." 
I remember hearing a woman asking what "chickarroo" 
was; she meant "chiar' oscuro." And looking over the 
shoulder of a girl who was busily taking notes of the Rus- 
sian exhibit of malachite, I saw she had written, "Some- 
thing Green." 

A pleasant interlude in the summer of 1880 was an un- 
usual sort of trip I took, with a lot of other artists, in a boat 
on the Erie Canal. The expedition was planned by Mr. 
W. J. Arkell, of Canajoharie, who invited the Artists' Fund 



Society to be his guests from start to finish — twenty of 
us in all, among them Wordsworth Thompson, Clarence 
Luce, A, T. Brichcr, Herbert McCord, and Edward Gay. 

The Chauncey Vibbard took us as far as Albany, where 
we spent a not unprofitable morning looking at William 
Hunt's mural paintings in the Capitol, and then got under 
way for Schenectady in a pretty steam-launch that Mr. 
Arkell had chartered for the occasion. From there we made 
our pleasant way along the canal to Lockport. Steam- 
boats were not usually allowed in the canal, as they washed 
the banks, but Mr. Arkell had a special dispensation. The 
boat was a delightful lodging — comfortable cabins below; 
awnings shading the deck, where a string band discoursed 
sweet music and signalled our arrivals and departures from 
important places with hvely airs. We lunched on board, 
but hotels and private houses along the way provided our 
breakfasts and dinners, and as our advent had been heralded 
abroad we were welcomed with enthusiastic hospitality. I 
must confess that this may have been due to Mr. Arkell, 
who was an expert advertiser, not disposed to hide his light 
under a busheL Be that as it may, the kind public ap- 
parently saw hovering over our heads an aesthetic halo 
never perceived by our friends at home. 

At Schenectady some of the Union professors showed 
us about the college; and at Canajoharie Mr. Arkell's father, 
an agreeable man, laid himself out to entertain us, not only 
by initiating us into the mysteries of paper-bag making 
in his up-to-date factory, but treating us to a picnic in a 
lovely wood, where we found a lot of pretty girls and all 
the ehte of the neighborhood gathered to do us honor. There 
were some picturesque old mills there which we enjoyed 
sketching. The good people of Rochester gave us a big 
evening reception, with dancing at the town hall, where 



we were presented to all the leading citizens— altogether 
we came in for any number of pleasant little affairs as \vc 
made our triumphal progress along the canal. 

But all this junketing was really a side issue. It was 
the delightful scenery of the Mohawk Valley, the pictur- 
esque locks set in a cluster of old houses and flanked I)y the 
inevitable country store, often a picture in itself, that was 
the chief charm of our journey. Every turn of the blue 
canal brought us something new, and whenever we saw a 
paintable bit we would hail the captain and he would tic 
up to the shore. In a moment, like mushrooms, the meadows 
would be dotted with the white tops of our sketching um- 
brellas. Indeed, we accumulated so many sketches that 
we were able to make several exhibitions of sorts at the 
towns along the way. The canal-boats were a characteris- 
tic feature of the landscape, the old horses ambling along 
the tow-path with small urchins perched on their l)road 
backs. The barges were often nicely furnished and shaded 
by gay colored awnings, and we passed happy families sway- 
ing to and fro in their rocking-chairs around their well-spread 
dinner-tables, or cooking at their portable stoves and send- 
ing appetizing odors and slender trails of delicate smoke 
across the water; laughing children played about the decks, 
and altogether everybody seemed to be having a pleasant 
time, watching the green meadows slip by them as they 
made their quiet progress through the long summer days. 
It was an ideal life — if you did not happen to be in a hurry. 

But the canal men were extraordinarily expert in pro- 
fanity. I have never heard anything to equal it. When- 
ever they were at a loss for a word they filled in with some- 
thing expressive. Sketching one day near two men who 
were shovelling manure, I heard one say to the other: 

"Are you going by the cars?" 



"No," he answered quietly, "Vm going by G by 

boat," leaving one uncertain as to whether the transporta- 
tion was to be by an earthly or a celestial conveyance. 

Utica did us honor, entertaining us at Bagg's Hotel; 
then we took in Trenton Falls, and w^ound up with two 
pleasant days at Niagara before returning to New York. 
It was a fine trip, the artists were a lot of good fellows, and 
we enjoyed every minute. 

The only one of the party who did not seem to have a 
good time was a little old German (I don't remember his 
name), who had a studio at 51 West Tenth Street. We 
wondered why he had come. He never sketched, hardly 
ever spoke, and never appeared to notice the beautiful 
country we were passing through. Only once was he roused 
to enthusiasm. Turning to me, he pointed to a weather- 
vane, a little wooden hen, on the roof of a bare rectangular 
barn, and remarked with a slow smile: 

"Zat is pretty." 

After we got back, each of us painted a picture for Mr. 
Arkell as a souvenir, and the lot made an interesting little 
collection. Mine was done from a sketch of one of the locks 
and an old house adjoining it, a woman with a baby in her 
arms looking out of the door and a flock of pigeons on the 
roof. In the foreground I put a pair of waiting horses, 
from a study I made of our own old farm horses, Norman 
and Nelly. 




"O, the comrades that gossiped and painted and sung! 
Centuria !" 

— Stedman. 

I doubt if there is another club in the world with as 
many pleasant men in it as the Century. Some of my hap- 
piest memories are connected with the evenings I have 
spent there and my many good old friends. Thackeray's 
remark that the Century was the nicest club he had ever 
been in has had an echo in the hearts of many less distin- 
guished people. The chafing-dish Thackeray used when 
he was our guest was for years a valued relic of the club, 
but somehow or other it disappeared a few years ago, much 
to our distress. 

I was already a member of the Century when I went 
to Paris, in '78, having been elected in 1874, nominated 
by Robert Gordon and seconded by Rutherfurd Stuyvesant 
— luckily for me, as it was some time before Saint Gaudens 
and I were forgiven for our zeal at the Exposition. In fact, 
Saint Gaudens didn't get in when he was proposed the fol- 
lowing year, because of the enemies he had made in my 
company; though, of course, a year or so later the club wel- 
comed him with open arms. 

It was really only the old fogies that objected to the 
way Saint Gaudens and I had hung the pictures at the 
Exposition. The younger men were perfectly satisfied — 
for instance, La Farge, whose beautiful "Paradise Valley" 



got an honorable mention, as I have said, and was greatly 
admired by the French painters. It shows one of those 
long valleys near the second beach at Newport looking 
down on the ocean, a fresh-water pond with rocks rising 
on each side, and clumps of gnarled cedar-trees, a wide 
meadow in the foreground. 

La Farge was painting in this same neighborhood when 
I first met him many years ago. This occurred about 1865, 
while I was staying at my brother-in-law John Neilson's 
house at Purgatory, and he was boarding at Peckham's 
near by and working on some of his best landscapes. La 
Farge used to come over to John Neilson's a good deal that 
summer to play croquet. John was the best croquet player 
I have ever seen — it was a scientific game in those days — 
and La Farge was absolutely the worst. We used to call 
him "Johnny Croquet." Old Peckham, a regular Down 
East Yankee, long, thin, with an inimitable drawl and a 
lot of dry humor, used to take La Farge and John Neilson 
out fishing. John, who liked a good story, said that one 
day when they were fishing with drop lines and sport was 
dull, as La Farge's hne floated close to Peckham — La Farge 
all the time intent upon some distant effect of atmosphere 
or hght — Peckham gave the line a tremendous pull. Sud- 
denly recalled to mundane things, La Farge pulled in his 
line in great excitement and could not understand why 
there was nothing on it. John said that for years after La 
Farge used to speak of that whale he almost caught. 

We once stayed at Newport for a few weeks at Peck- 
ham's old house, soon after we came home from abroad. 
One day the children were playing by the gate when Miss 
Charlotte Cushman, the great actress, happened to pass 
by and talked to them very sweetly in Itahan until my wife 
came out and Miss Cushman found out who she was. Ap- 



parently she thought I was to blame for having succeeded 
her nephew as Consul at Rome, for she drew herself up to 
her full height and uttering the words "Maitland Arm- 
strong" in a terrible "Meg Merrilies" voice, she made a 
most magnificent exit worthy of a better cue. 

Although La Farge was such a great artist, he was most 
inept with his hands. One Varnishing Day at the Academy 
I saw him trying to fasten a small gilt label with a couple 
of tacks to the frame of a picture. He hammered away, 
bruising his fingers and getting the label in an awful state, 
and at last gave it up in despair. 

La Farge was highly educated, I don't know where, but 
I think by private masters, chiefly abroad: he spoke French 
like a native. He studied painting with Couture, who doubt- 
less influenced La Farge's color; and color was his strong 
point, particularly his blues, for he drew with difllcult} — 
though he produced some fine drawings, notably those 
engraved on wood by Marsh for "The Pied Piper of Ham- 
elin," and a beautiful one called "Silence" for "Enoch Ar- 
den," which I believe was a study of Mrs. La Farge. 
Marsh's engravings of drawings b}' La Farge, ALiry Hal- 
leck Foote and Helena de Kay, afterward Mrs. Gilder, 
were exhibited at Paris in 1878 and were highly thought 
of; he was one of our best engravers. 

La Farge's father was a man of fortune, a Frenchman 
who came to America, I believe, as an agent for Louis 
Philippe. He owned the La Farge House on Broadway, 
between Bleecker and Amity Streets where the Broadway 
Central Hotel is now, a site formerly occupied by the Winter 
Garden — I once saw Booth there as Shylock. This property 
sold for a large price and La Farge inherited a good deal 
of money; but he never could keep money, and though he 
received large sums for his paintings and stained glass he 



died poor. But he always lived well, you never saw him 
on foot, and he kept cabs waiting in front of his studio or 
the glass shop for hours at a time. Awoki, his valet, a nice 
little fellow, I believe of good position in Japan, was his 
devoted servant for years and his faithful nurse in sickness. 
When La Farge died, he seemed to feel lost without him. 
La Farge told very amusing stories of his experiences in 
Japan, where he once found himself required by etiquette 
to take a bath in the courtyard of a Japanese house, while 
all the family pohtely stood around in a circle patiently 
waiting until he was through, only hoping that the water 
would not be entirely cold. I think it was that same year 
that he went to Samoa, and called on the Robert Louis 
Stevenson family: Mrs. Stevenson welcomed him clad 
only in a *'hoIiko" — a large piece of cloth with a hole for 
the neck to go through, and the lunch consisted solely of 
bananas — La Farge was accustomed to better lunches than 

He was not only a great painter but a remarkable writer. 
A charming article on Japanese art which he wrote for a 
book of Pumpelly's, a trip around the world, was done 
after the book was set up in type, so that La Farge was 
restricted to an exact space, no more and no less. It is 
short but admirable. 

The reredos in old St. Thomas's Church, the work of 
La Farge and Saint Gaudens, was one of the finest things 
of the kind in the country, and it was a tragedy that it 
should have been destroyed when the church was burned, 
though of course in every other way Mr. Cram's beautiful 
new church is a vast improvement on the old. Saint 
Gaudens finished modelling his part of the work — a cross 
in the centre with adoring angels on either side — while we 
were in Paris together, in 1878. La Farge had, of course, 



the artist's usual struggle with the clerical point of view — 
you know the clergy often appear to think that they receive 
a special knowledge of art together with the other gifts of 
ordination — the worthy rector condemning the figure of 
Mary Magdalen as too ascetic and suggesting "a trifle more 
rotundity." It is hardly necessary to say that the advice 
was not followed and the saint was portrayed with the 
exquisite religious feeling and refmcment always found in 
La Farge's earlier work, which often had a wonderful solem- 
nity as well. 

The rector of St. Thomas's must have considered him- 
self an expert on Mary Magdalen. Saint Gaudcns told me 
he was once wandering around the church, trying to decide 
some knotty point by studying his work from different an- 
gles, while the doctor was preaching on "coporeal dehghts," 
with this saint as his text. Saint Gaudcns said that as he 
went from gallery to gallery — the old church had any num- 
ber of them — the resounding warning against "coporcal 
delights" came to him again and again in sonorous tones, 
and that he left the edifice with "co-po-real de-lights" still 
ringing in his ears. 

La Farge's ''Ascension" above the reredos in the Church 
of the Ascension at Fifth Avenue and Tenth Street is, to 
my mind, the finest mural painting in America. He worked 
on it for several years; in fact, Stanford White, who was 
the architect of the reredos, got in perfect despair over it; 
it seemed as if La Farge would never get it done, and natu- 
rally Doctor Donald, the rector, wanted to have the work 
finished and the scaffolding taken down. As White said 
to Donald one day: 

''This dcLay is perfectly heUish!" 

To which Donald answered, "I am a clergyman, White, 
but you exactly express my sentiments." 



However, the reredos was finished at last. Louis Saint 
Gaudens made some lovely angels for it and I did the 

Louis Saint Gaudens was a strange fellow, none of your 
Greenwich Village Bohemians, but a true example of the 
artistic temperament, and with very nearly as much genius 
as his famous brother. He was never bound by any con- 
vention as such. Saint Gaudens told me that once he turned 
up after a long absence, and remarked: 

"Gus, I'm married." Saint Gaudens looked at him in 
astonishment, but before he could speak, Louis added: 

"She's dead." And that was all Augustus ever knew 
about it. 

When Doctor E. Winchester Donald became rector of 
the Ascension, it was one of the ugliest churches inside 
that were to be found in New^ York, which is saying a good 
deal, but Doctor Donald had a great love of beauty, and 
he raised the money and chose the artists who made it what 
it is to-day. He found it not only extremely shabby, with 
holes in the carpet and stains on the walls, but everything 
about it was ugly — the imitation chancel window with its 
quarries of crude glass set slap up against the wall so that 
no light came through it, the dreary wooden "Tables of 
the Law" over the altar, the square platform with a rail- 
ing round it that they called a pulpit, no stained glass 
worthy the name in any of the windows, and all architec- 
tural effect marred by the clumsy galleries at either side 
of the nave. As I said, when speaking of Bishop Eastburn 
in another chapter, Upjohn the architect had not been al- 
lowed to design a proper chancel when he built the church, 
and White considered for some time whether it would be 
possible to put in a Gothic chancel, but this would have 
involved so much that he finally decided to treat the wall 
simply as a space for decoration. 



The first stained-glass window to be put in the Ascension 
was La Farge's "Christ and Nicodemus," one of the finest 
things he ever did. Mine next to it, the "Annunciation," 
was almost my first figure window. At that time La Farge 
and Louis Tiffany were still making interesting experi- 
ments in the manufacture of opal glass and there wa^^ far 
more variety to be had then than now, when the manu- 
facture of the actual glass itself is reduced to a fornuila. 
There are bits in both these windows that could not be 
found in any glass shop to-day. 

Another very fine altar-piece of LaFarge's is the paint- 
ing in the Church of the Incarnation on Madison Avenue. 
It is unfortunate that when the church was redecorated a 
few years ago so little regard was paid to the effect on this 
picture, which should have influenced the entire color 
scheme. The dazzle of white paint which has brought the 
church to so immaculate a cleanliness, but not, to my mind, 
to godliness, has sucked all the life out of La Farge's color 
and dulled it to a muddy shadow of its former self It would 
have been quite possible to redecorate the interior and 
change the former rather ugly coloring, and yet keep it in 
harmony with the picture. How seldom people seem to 
realize that color is chiefly beautiful in its relation to other 
color — to surround La Farge's wonderful coloring with 
dead white was as presumptuous as to alter a note in any 
other great harmony. If La Farge had painted his j)icture 
for a white church, he would have made it entirely different. 

When Boldini was in this country. La Farge told me 
that he said to him: 

"How does it happen, Mr. La Farge, that you are the 
president of so many societies — American Artiste, Archi- 
tectural League, Society of Mural Painters, etc., etc.?" 

La Farge replied, "Oh, well, you see there arc not 
enough old men to go round." 



He once told me an amusing anecdote of Manet. It 
seems a young artist, a flagrant imitator of Manet's style, 
came into Manet's studio in Paris when La Farge was there, 
bringing some sketches he wanted criticised. Manet said 
to him: 

*'My young friend, do you see nature in this way?" 

"Yes," said the young man, "I do." 

"No, you do not !" said Manet. "/ see nature in that 
way but nobody else does." 

John La Farge to Theodore Marburg, 
The Municipal Art Society oj Baltimore 

51 West Tenth Street. May 31st, 1906. 

". . . The list of French painters, of any triumphant 
superiority in mural painting, is small. There are many 
good men whose forte is not that of mural decoration, and 
who are more properly easel painters; so that their work 
on walls or ceilings does not do them justice, and is usually 
rather unpleasant to look at, however meritorious in knowl- 
edge. We cannot command at will the poetic feeling which 
illustrates Puvis de Chavannes or my friend, Mr. Besnard. 

"You seem to wish only French painters, but if you 
desire to make cosmopohtan representation, are you not 
abandoning some respectable artists in Belgium, in Ger- 
many, in Spain, also in England? I do not know the artists 
of Holland or of Northern Europe, nor am I sufficiently 
acquainted with the Italians who have, of late, developed 

"But I should not wish to have my name in any way 
associated with the idea of bringing over foreign artists, 
unless their superiority was so marked that we could not 
afl'ord to do without them. I should prefer to see at any 
time, an American, of moderate capacity — provided he 




were properly a mural painter — do the work in preference 
to a foreigner of no greater rank. I should even go further, 
I should go very far in encouraging American Art. .My 
reasons would be based on the experience of Europe. The 
French have developed their work by asking Frenchmen 
to do it, and in-so-far as each nationality has followed this 
rule, they have developed the Art of their country. 

**This seems to me a fundamental law, and if there have 
been a few exceptions, they have usually occurred at such 
times as the Civil Wars in France, when every form of Art 
suffered, when manufactures were absolutely wiped out, 
and when Rubens was called in of necessity. I have al- 
ways admired the action of Louis XIV of France, in his 
decision to return even the illustrious Bernini to Italy, and 
to give to famous Frenchmen the work which should illus- 
trate his reign. 

"I should even disagree with regard to the influence 
upon our development here of such noble work as that of 
Puvis. No one that I know is old enough to have admired 
him as long as I have, so that I can speak with a degree 
of confidence quite as great as that of any Frenchman. 

"You allow with your usual intelligent frankness, which 
I fully appreciate, that the course you speak of takes awa> 
a commission from some American artist. Well, this I 
regret. I should like to see more of Mr. Turner's work in 
Baltimore, and the same for Mr. Blashfield. They will be 
honors to us all, and there are half a dozen Americans be- 
sides who are quite capable of such efforts. 

"I believe that our American artists should have work 
in our buildings in preference to the foreigner under almost 
any circumstances and I believe that when that view is 
firmly anchored in the minds of our architects and lovers 
of Art, we shall be launched into the full sea of American 


mural painting. We already see the advantage of this in 
sculpture. The American architect does not bring over 
even the excellent French sculptors who are there at hand. 
And the American architect is, in so far, right. 

"Finally, please understand that I appreciate entirely 
your point of view, that of an educational influence. But 
I consider my own view the better, from long experience 
and, I believe, an adequate acquaintance with the art of 
a great part of Europe and that of our own men." 

No doubt La Farge is right in his convictions expressed 
in the letter above and yet I have always regretted that 
there was none of my friend Merson's beautiful work to 
be seen in this country. He and I kept in touch with each 
other for some time. The following letter — interesting 
because he expresses a feehng shared by all decorators that 
too wide a scope is as bad as too small a one — was written 
just after Doctor Nevin had decided not to employ him, 
as I had suggested, to decorate the new church in Rome, 
and when I was hoping to get him an order here. 

Luc Olivier Merson to D. M. A., New York 

119 Boulevard St. Michel, Paris. 
4 Septembre, 1881. 

"Mon cher ami. En revenant d'une petite excursion au 
bord de la mer, je trouve votre aimable lettre et je m'em- 
presse de vous repondre. Et d'abord excusez-moi de ne 
pas vous avoir repondu plus tot au subjet de la visite que 
m'a faite le Dr. Nevin. Je vous suis tres reconnaissant 
d'avoir pense a moi, et je ne regrette qu'une chose, c'est 
que I'affaire n'ait pas eu de suite. Le travail a ete confie 
a un artiste anglais, que vous connaissez sans doute, Burne 



"Et maintenant causons dc Tafialre que vous mc pro- 
posez. J'accepte volonticrs cle fairc les cartons que vous 
me demandez comme essais. ... Je vous serais tres oblige 
de vouloir bicn mc prcciscr davantagc Ics sujets. Que 
doit representer I'ange; est-cc I'ange dc la douleur, de la 
priere, de la redemption? Ou bicn cst-cc un ange chantant 
ou jouant d'un instrument quclconquc? Dc mcme pour le 
groupe dc deux ou trois figures, que doit-il representer? 
Les Arts ou I' Industrie, T Etude ou le Repos? L'esperance 
ou la Charite, la Comedie ou la Musiquc? Cette liberte 
que vous me laissez me gene beaucoup plus qu'elle me 

"Voila tout. II ne me reste plus qu'a vous remercier 
de nouveau de votre bon souvenir. Jc cause souvent de 
vous avec M. Hascltinc, qui est a Paris depuis quelque 
temps et qui travaillc dans Tatclicr que vous connaissez. 
J'espere que plus heurcuscs avec vous qu' avec Monsieur 
Nevin nos relations artistiques ne scront pas interrompucs 
avant meme d'avoir commence. Pour ma part, jc ferai 
mon possible pour vous satisfairc, ctant tres desireux 
d'abord de continuer avec vous d'agreables relations, en- 
suite de travailler pour I'Amerique qui est vraiment le seul 
pays qui encourage les arts et qui appelle et cherche a 
retenir les artistes qui chez eux dans leur propre pays nc 
peuvent pas, malgre leur travail et leur peine, arriver a sc 
fairc unc situation meme modestc. 

'Recevez, mon cher ami, mes mcilleurs remercicmcnts 
et croyez a mes meilleurs sentiments de bonne sj'mpathie. 
** Votre tout dcvoue, 

'Llc-Olivier Merson." 

A very old friend of our family — a member of the Cen- 
tury by the way — was Doctor E. Winchester Donald. Wc 


had known him ever since he first came to the Church of 
the Ascension as Doctor John Cotton Smith's curate, a 
very young man, and we missed him when he left New 
York to become rector of Trinity Church, Boston. I do 
not think they appreciated him there, the point of view 
was too local. He once said that living in Boston after 
the rush of life in New York was like "being drowned in 
a park fountain." I have already spoken of his interest 
in art in connection with the decoration of the Church of 
the Ascension. The following letters show how intense 
and how sincere was his love of beauty. 

Rev. E. Winchester Donald to Miss Meta Neilson 

Mont-Saint-Michel. Aug. 31, 1895 
**. . . This is a fine place from which to see the summer 
die. It reminds me of Amherst ! save that the white gleam- 
ing sand takes the place of meadows. I mean the long 
view is here the only one and you can see the sun set be- 
hind the hills — low to be sure, twenty miles away. The 
same Amherst stillness pervades everything at ten o'clock 
at night, and as I watched the moon riding through white 
transparent clouds, and making the ribbon of water, which 
runs at low tide through the long sand reaches, shine like a 
lazy silver serpent, I could imagine myself at Amherst, yet 
always recalled by the long, exciting, sad history which the 
vast pile of stone above my head records. Nothing one 
can read, nothing one can imagine from Haig's etching, 
gives the sfightest idea of this marvelous pile. It is far 
more exciting than anything or everything I have seen. 
Free of history and poetry, free of art and beauty, it is the 
very peak of human achievement, daring, and imagination. 
I am simply insane with wonder and delight. But we can 
talk of it next winter at 233— in the firelight." 



Washington, Jan. i8, 1899. 

". . . Foremost among the things I have seen is St. 
Gaudens' figure over the grave of Henry Adams' wife. Take 
it all in all, I know nothing which is comparable to it. It 
haunts one. Out of the human being has gone hope, love, 
interest, and longing. Not alone is the face of the figure 
declarative of the extinction of all that so much as makes 
death bearable — the shoulders, the back, the arms, tell 
the same story. The infinite refinement of the woman 
accents her lapse into nothingness. The power of it all 
is tremendous, startling, alarming. The cleanHness of the 
bronze led me to ask the keeper if there were no birds. 
He said no birds ever came near it. 

"I think I should not wish often to see it. It so obsesses 
one that he finds himself asking as he turns away, * Is She 
right? Is She wise?' She has no secret, that is clear, but 
the calm inarticulate misery of hopelessness is spread, like 
a dull sheen, over every feature. And when one has re- 
covered himself, he finds She retains his respect, as certain 
biythe figures, meant to represent hope and faith, do not. 
I should like to be a genius." 

Trinity Cliurcli in the City of Boston. 
April 29, 1 90 1. 

". . . They have a beautiful chapel at W'ellesley. How 
our tastes have changed since 1872 when the mildest ritual- 
ism seemed born of the Evil One of Rome. I don't think 
it is a clearer intellectual view of either history or ecclesi- 
ology which has wrought it, but an increased sensitiveness 
to form. I like to believe that our early training in the 
paramount importance of personal religion will keep our 
love of ordered beauty from degeneration. At any rate, I 
doubt if people can achieve culture and sensitiveness to 



form and still be content with or helped by barrenness in 
worship. I rather dread going back to Trinity's empty 


London, Aug., 1903. 

**. . . France never seemed so prosperous or so bright. 
The vast plains stretching from Orleans beyond Chartres were 
one prairie of golden grain. Already the reapers are busy. 

"At Rouen I started for the train early enough to drive 
through the little square behind the Cathedral, and received 
the benediction of that exquisitely beautiful brown apse. 
My three hours in Paris I spent in going to see the chapel 
built in memory of those who perished in the memorable 
Charity Bazaar fire four or five years ago. It's no better 
than a gilded paganism. There's not a holy line or a rever- 
ent curve or a bit of solemn decoration in it. It was evi- 
dently designed by some one who had never prayed, never 
suffered, and never allowed his heart to share in another's 
woe. It seems to say as one enters, 'See! how clever is 
man, how unnecessary and fleeting is God.' And yet there 
was one tender touch. Behind the ahar screen the sisters 
were chanting htanies. Perhaps a dozen of them — they 
were hidden from sight — made the appeals on a low tone, 
as low as D, I should say. When they ceased, a single voice, 
a full octave higher, took up the appeal with a heart-broken 
despair, so unwiHing to cease petitioning yet so unable to 
spread wide the wings of faith. Those prayers added a 
new ughness to the garish surroundings furnished the holy 
sisters by some cafe-haunting architect. If the sisters had 
not been there I should have cried out, 'This is all Tophet 
let loose!' and fled." 

Homer Martin was a most amusing Centurian. He 
had a vast fund of dry humor. Like all true Bohemians, 



his ideas of domestic life were eccentric, and sometimes his 
home would not see him for weeks at a time. Meeting him 
on the street one day, a friend told Martin an amusing 
story, adding that Mrs. Martin — a fine woman, I behcve, 
and witty as well — had told it to him. 

"Indeed," said Martin. "Why I think I shall have 
to go home and make her acquaintance." 

The Century Club has two of Martin's pictures, "Lake 
Sanford" in the Adirondacks and "The Honfleur Light." 
Martin was a great painter, a man of exquisite artistic feel- 
ing, but the public did not find it out until he was dead. 
When the public woke up, pictures he had sold for hundreds 
brought thousands, and eventually commanded fabulous 
prices. A friend of his told me that Martin had once of- 
fered him any picture in his studio for two hundred dol- 
lars. Martin said: "Don't you want to buy a picture? 
I have about three hundred I can't sell; some of them have 
frames, too." 

Martin was a friend of Whistler's and stayed with him 
in his luxurious house in London. Whistler said he came 
down-stairs one morning and found Martin looking vaguely 
about the room, and asked him what he was looking for. 

"A pair of scissors," said Martin. "You don't seem 
to have any. What in the world do you do when you want 
to trim your cuffs?" 

Hopkinson Smith was about the best all-round man I 
ever knew. He did many things and all of them well, and 
was withal a most engaging companion and a distingulsiicd- 
looking man, a true type of the progressive American. As 
engineer, he built the hghthousc at Race Rock, where many 
others had failed. As painter, he did good work in water- 
colors and in black and white; every year he brought home 
from abroad a great portfolio of charming drawings that 



sold like hot cakes. Perhaps his best work as a writer was 
"Colonel Carter of Carters ville." The scene of this story 
is laid in the rooms of the old Tile Club, of which he 
was a member, at 58 West Tenth Street — now my own 
house — or rather at 58>^, as its door was numbered, for the 
club was reached by a passageway through the house in 
front. Most of the best-known artists and architects in 
New York belonged to the Tile Club — Charles F. McKim, 
Frank Millet, Abbey, Stanford White, Dielman, William 
Gedney Bunce, and a lot of others. I once dined there 
as McKim's guest, and I little dreamed as I sat in that 
quaint room that it would one day belong to me. 

When I bought the house, in 1890, there were two build- 
ings. The one that had been occupied by the Tile Club 
was a small house in the centre of the block. In old times 
it had had a garden in front, but the garden was afterward 
obliterated by the erection of another house directly on 
the street, with a funny little passageway to the rear house 
running through its basement. I bought both houses and 
connected them by building another room between, and 
made some other improvements, with Tom Nash's valuable 
help as architect, which made it an attractive house — there 
is certainly no other house anywhere in the least like it. 
We have lived there ever since. One thing we like about 
it is our studio, built by Abbey, and occupied by both him 
and Freer. Our dining-room, except for the shelves of 
china, is not very different from when it was the Tile Club's j 
meeting-place, the two white-tiled fireplaces that Stanford 
White designed being unchanged. In view of the recent 
irruption of odd-looking houses in the neighborhood, it is 
amusing to remember that when I painted the woodwork 
outside white it was considered extraordinarily conspicuous. 
I remember Dielman saying laughingly that we ought to 



n^Strl'°l 'r''"l °""f^^^ - P^-'-nt a feature 
n tne street. 1 have always been sorrv tfioi- I , 

lowed by the Building Department ^X^. rjlt" 

told ^,:ite Snrr : e^x '■r,t\t.t;""^r 

twenty-five dollars, but I didn't eare gi ^ b b""' 
Hopk,nson Smith gave n,e two prettWrawing of the 

oldTn, r ^''•"■''' ''""'^ sentimental about the 

old house havmg used it as the scene of one of his first He showed us "where Chad stood and where the 
CO onel sat." quae as if they had been real peopi Jus 
before h,s death a moving-pieture eoncern '^arr'^LcI to 
take so-e pictures of our house for a play of "Colonel Or? 

Ln U u J °"S'^ ""'"g to Mr. Smith's death I 

fancy he had arranged to superintend it 

On the occasion of that first visit of „,ine to the Tile 
Club, Doctor Richard Derby and my nephew Tom Howard 
were also guests. Hop Smith recounted some of his tal2 
and we had a very ,olly time. He had the rare faeultv Tf 
reciting both comic and pathetic things with good effect- 

l". ^°^" T f ""''""'"S '" recitation, but his was the 
'•al thing; he almost made one weep 

LJn 'r* f '"*' ;' '""■ ""Pf^''"^°" Smith was at the Cen- 
tury Club where he was holding forth to a crowd of men 

TJu ^^™^"/'™^''f'e=- He ended bv- saying that he 
had been abroad nineteen times and had never vet met 
1 (jerman gentleman. 

"It's what they cat," he said, "that makes them such 
Drut^es. Why, not long ago I was breakfasting in the Arcade 
n Milan and a German bride and groom came in. He was 
I handsome young officer, and I knew she was a bride be- 


cause everything she had on was brand-new. And what 
do you think he ordered for breakfast — a piece of ham a 
foot long and two steins of beer !" 

Clarence King was another many-sided man. He was 
a mining engineer of distinction, and had degrees not only 
from Yale but from Leipsic and many other universities, 
but I think that his personal charm and delightful con- 
versation had as much to do with his success in life as his 
mental ability. Of all the arts, the great art of conversa- 
tion is the most transitory — it leaves only a vague tradi- 
tion behind it. So it is hard to do Clarence King justice, 
but I am sure no better talker ever lived, nor any with a 
readier wit. One day at the club some one spoke of having 
caught a ghmpse of a strange-looking woman in the window 
of a house in Amity Street, as he flashed by in the elevated. 
He said she was a stout Cuban-looking creature dressed 
in a gaudy flowered gown, and then, as he hesitated for a 
phrase in which to describe her. King broke in with: 

"Why not caH her a Havana filler in a Connecticut 

I once spoke of a girl on the bathing beach at New Lon- 
don, who could stand on one heel and make a perfect circle 
in the sand with the other. 

"Oh, yes," said King. "A radius of two feet." \ 

Another first-rate conversationalist, one of my morl 
recent friends at the Century of whom I became exceed- 
ingly fond, was Charles E. Grinnefl, of Boston. President 
of his class at Harvard, an accompfished linguist, a traveller, 
and an author, he was not only a citizen of the world in 
its best sense and a representative American, but above 
afl a man of character and a gentleman. He was an au- 
thority on music and the drama, and for many months 
never missed a performance at the Theatre Fran^ais, for, 

320 i 


as a Frenchman said to him: "If you go there you will 
know more about France than if you visited every town 
in the country." Not only was he one of the best of talkers, 
but he possessed that rare quality of being a good hstener 
as well. His love of life was intense up to the last; he en- 
joyed every moment with the cheerful outlook of youth 
mellowed by the wisdom of age, and was so modest, sweet- 
tempered, and simple that every one loved him. 

Launt Thompson, a brother-in-law of Bishop Potter, 
was a sculptor of fine artistic and technical ability who 
ought to have gone farther than he did. The Century owns 
tw'O of his best works, the noble portrait of Edwin Booth 
and the fine bronze eagle with outspread wings that stands 
on the stairway. 

Speaking of Booth recalls a slip of Richard Harding 
Davis — one of those remarks one afterward regrets. Davis 
had just seen a very fine death mask of Lincoln, and when 
Booth came in he described it to him in detail, much to 
the horror of the bystanders, who were old enough to re- 
member that the assassination had poisoned all Booth's 
earlier life. But Booth took it very calmly and when Davis 
had left the room turned to a friend and said: 

"After the first moment, I was glad he spoke as he did. 
It shows that the younger generation do not connect my 
name with the tragedy." 

Mr. A. Rodney Macdonough was an honored member 
of the Century and for many years its secretary. He was 
the son of the celebrated commodore, whose fine portrait 
by Gilbert Stuart hung on the wall of the dining-room at 
the club until after Mr. Macdonough's death, when it was 
removed by his family. In a logbook kept by my uncle 
Charles, I found an account of a voyage he once took in 
the old frigate Constitution as a midshipman when Com- 



modore Macdonough was captain. He mentions that the 
ship ran aground at Smyrna, and Mr. Macdonough told 
me that he well remembered the excitement of the event; 
he must have had a pretty good memory, for he was only 
a httle boy of four when he took that voyage with his 

I had the honor of knowing Mr. John Bigelow well. 
He was president of the club for many years, and up to 
the time of his death at ninety-four presided at the 
monthly meetings with grace and ability. Mr. Bigelow 
was an ardent Swedenborgian and used to present me every 
now and then with a little book of his own composition 
on that faith, but I regret to say I never could read 

There is a round table in the corner of the dining-room 
at the Century Club, where Nadal, Loyall Farragut, Theo- 
dore Thomas, William Alexander, and others usually dine, 
and here it is my good fortune to sit whenever I happen 
to be at the club at the dinner hour. 

Alas, poor Farragut is gone ! He was perhaps the most 
popular man in the club. He and I were said to look a 
good deal alike. He told me he once met Walter Crosby 
on Madison Avenue, and met him a second time a few min- 
utes later. Crosby said: **It is strange, Mr. Armstrong, 
that we should meet again so soon," and Farragut answered: 
"But it is stranger still that I am not Mr. Armstrong!" 

I was riding with McKim at Lenox a few years ago 
when we saw George Folsom in his garden, who came out 
to speak to us. I had known him intimately for years, 
but his first remark to me was: 

"Is Mrs. Farragut with you?" 

Among my friends at the Century, E. S. Nadal is one 
of whom I am most fond. He was born in Virginia, in Green- 



brier County, and as his father was a Methodist clergyman, 
and after the manner of their clergy had a new cure nearly 
every year, Nadal's experiences of Virginia life were un- 
usually varied. He has embodied them in a most deh'ght- 
ful book, "A Virginia Village." He is a graduate of Yale, 
and was secretary of legation in London under Motley and 
Lowell for many years, and he has met many distinguished 
people, Lincoln among others, and his essays on a variety of 
subjects are very charming. But above all he is a lovable 
man. I know it would be impossible for him to do an un- 
kind or an ungentlemanly thing. He is a fine judge of a 
horse — I tell him he is the only man I know who has suc- 
cessfully combined horse-dealing and literature — and has 
the remarkable faculty of being able to sell people horses 
and yet retain their friendship. 

Robert Gordon is one of the oldest members of the Cen- 
tury Club, which he joined in 1867, my oldest living friend 
(he is my daughter Marion's godfather), and one of the 
finest men I have ever known. He came to this country 
from Scotland in 1849 ^vhen he was a very young man, 
soon becoming a partner in the old firm of Maitland Phelps 
and Company of which I have already spoken in connec- 
tion with my godfather, Mr. David .\Liithind. Gordon 
came often to stay with us at Danskammer and ours has 
been a faithful and uninterrupted friendship ever since, 
kept up of late years by a pretty regular correspondence. 

I have spoken in a previous chapter of the pleasant 
artists' receptions that Mr. Gordon gave every winter while 
he lived in New York. When the Astors built the houses 
in West Thirty-third Street where the Waldorf now stands, 
Mr. Gordon moved into Number i, and later bought Num- 
ber 7 East Thirty-eighth Street from Harvey Fisk, which 
he remodelled to make room for his numerous pictures. 



For he was a liberal patron of art, especially of American 
painters, and a good friend to the young and struggling. 
I went once with him to George Boughton's studio in the 
old Tenth Street building, and we found him engaged in 
painting a picture which Gordon immediately bought. 
Boughton was then almost unknown. After living a re- 
markably agreeable life here for thirty-five years, he retired 
from Maitland Phelps and returned to England to live, 
where he was immediately sought out by Mr. Junius S. 
Morgan, and induced after some persuasion to become a 
member of the British firm of J. S. Morgan and Company, 
with whom he was associated for fifteen years — in fact, 
until he reached the age of seventy, which he had long be- 
fore decided was the proper age for a man to retire. Thence- 
forth he settled down to a pleasant country life, only dis- 
turbed of very late years by the war. 

The artists gave Mr. Gordon a farewell dinner at Del- 
monico's before his return to England. I have the menu, 
which, much condensed, runs as follows, beginning with a 
quotation from Burns — 

"There ne'er was a coward o' Kenmure's blude. 
Nor yet o' Gordon's line," 

and going on with — 

"Prepare your surface with — Huitres. Sketch in the 
design with a thin wash of^Potages. Strengthen the out- 
hne with crisp touches of— Poisson. Now dash in the lights 
boldly with— Releve. And fill up shadows carefully with 
Entrees. Glaze the necessary parts with a cool — Sorbet. 
Carefully scumble the loaded masses with— Roti. Touch 
up the details and harmonize the whole composition with 
— Sucres. And finally varnish with a warm mixture of 



cafe and nicotine." A generous use of "mediums"— Cham- 
pagne, etc.— was recommended, and the whole ended with 
another stanza from Burns, slightly improved 

"Where'er he go, where'er he walk. 
May Heaven be his warden, 
Return him soon to fair New York, 
Our honest Robert Gordon." 

Robert Gordon to D. M. A., Rome 

New York, March, 1870. 
". . . Gifford is now painting for me a splendid pic- 
ture (as large as my Mansfield Mountain), the result of 
his recent visit to Italy. It is a view near Tivoli, looking 
toward Rome, the town of Tivoli perched up on the heights 
to the left, numerous small streams rushing down the sides 
of the cliffs into the river, which in a gorge below rushes 
off through a beautiful valley. It is, I beheve, literally 
true to nature, except in the foreground, where a h'ttle 
license has been taken for artistic effect. McEntee has 
not been quite so much improved by his trip abroad and 
I selected an American autumn scene in preference to any 
of his Italian sketches." 

22 Old Broad St., London. 9 April. 1886. 
". . .^ I am beginning to fmd that I made no mistake 
in investing as I did in American pictures. They attract 
a great deal of attention in my house, few good pictures 
by Americans having found their way to this side. In my 
dining-room, which is Lirge, I liave Wyant's 'Old Clear- 
ing' over the fireplace, with GifTord's 'Tivoli' and 'Mans- 
field Mountain' flanking it, all three being cleverly lighted 
by lamps with reflectors. At the end of the room over the 



sideboard I have J. G. Brown's 'Curling' picture and in 
the centre of the wall, opposite the Wyant, Ward's * Brit- 
tany Washerwoman,' both similarly hghted. We had the 
American Minister, Mr. Phelps, dining with us on Tues- 
day and he greatly enjoyed the GifFord and Wyant which 
faced him. I got a lot of etchings through Avery which 
I have had hung on my corridor walls. What an advance 
the American artists have made in the art in a few years ! 
Last Sunday was 'Picture Sunday' of the Academicians, 
the outsiders having had the Sunday before, but I only 
went to the studio of Boughton and Cohn Hunter. The 
former exhibits in both the Academy and Grosvenor. 

" I was much interested in your detailed report of your 
young people in whom you seem to have a deal of com- 

Little Park, Brimpton, Berks. 
24 Jan. 1915. 

*' It is very gratifying to all the better classes in this coun- 
try to find that you are all so thoroughly in sympathy with 
us in our great fight. It is a clear case of a * fight to the 
finish.' I have been greatly excited over the part taken 
by the London Scottish. 

" I am glad to hear that you are still up to your work 
and doing well with it. How delightful to have an accom- 
phshed daughter as a business partner — it is an ideal ar- 
rangement and you have reason to be proud of your family. 
Your picture of a 'Baker's Shop in Brittany' with an old 
white horse in the foreground hangs just behind me on 
the wall of the dining-room here; it was allotted to Mrs. 
Langford when the contents of Breckham Park were divided. 
I kept the St. Mark. 

"I am looking forward to getting the annual report 



of the Century before long. They call to mind many of 
my old friends who have passed away. Like CuHins I am 
now one of the Old Guard, as I also am of the Museum, — 
and of the St. Andrews Society, I am the very oldest mem- 
ber, having been elected in 1852." 

Chewton Glcn, i^'JuIy, 191". 

". . . Your letter did me a lot of good and cheered 
me up when I was rather in the dumps. I can do Httle in 
the way of walking, and petrol can no longer be had for 
what they are pleased to call 'joy riding.' The adhesion 
of America to our cause has given immense satisfaction 
and for the moment your Sammies enjoy even greater pop- 
ularity than our Colonials. 

**I find myself dwelling a good deal on my early experi- 
ences in New York, where I spent so many happy days. 
Nothing can ever take the place of the dear old Century, 
which I found most appreciatively mentioned in an Englisli 
book the other day. I was very grieved to liear of dear 
old Choate's death. I was never what you would call itry 
intimate with him, but greatly appreciated his high char- 
acter and friendly way. I am curious to hear who is to suc- 
ceed him in the Presidency. I have treasured up a nice 
letter from him in which he employs terms of real affec- 
tion in speaking of our early association in Museum 
matters. I am proud of my participation in the start of 
what has proved a greater success than the most sanguine 
of the Founders ever anticipated. 

"You are my oldest friend, our friendship dating back 
from the time in 1849 ^^'hen I entered the oflice of AL and 
P., when Gouv was a clerk there and got your mother to 
invite me to Danskanimer for the iirst time, which led to 



many other visits. It is strange how Danskammer and 
its associations live in my memory. I particularly remem- 
ber one visit at least at your place when grapes were ripe 
and free picking was permitted. 

** Yours ever affectionately, 

"Rob Gordon." 



"The breath of distant fields upon my brow 
Blows through that open door, 
The sound of wind-borne bells, more sweet and low, 
And sadder than of yore." 

— William Wetmore Story. 

It was in the spring of 1877 that we decided to make 
our home at Danskammer; for though the old house built 
by my father had been sold while I was in Italy, we had 
kept the northern part of the place, originally the old 
Bloomer farm, including a rather nice house — not much 
more than a farmhouse but beautifully situated, with a wide 
view across Newburgh bay to the Highlands. The house 
had possibilities and, first and hist, I did a good deal to it 
and made it into a pretty pleasant old place. It has not all 
been wasted even now, for, although the brickyards have 
greatly injured the view, my son Noel and his family live 
there and are as fond of it as I was. 

My early ideas of decoration seem to me rather amus- 
ing to-day; it is hard to believe that tiles and Morris wall- 
papers were ever considered new and beautiful. But, after 
all, Oscar Wilde was right in averring that sunflowers and 
lilies were more satisfying than the black walnut and green 
rep of our predecessors. There may have been too much 
of the aesthetic in these youthful decorations of mine, but 
the fine old things I had brought back from Italy would 
have made any house interesting. Anyhow, everybody 
thought our little house was not only the latest thing in 



decoration but charming as well, and looking back I con- 
fess I think so too. Later on I made more substantial ad- 
ditions to it, helped a good deal by the advice of Stanford 
White and McKim. In fact, at one time McKim got so 
intensely interested in my improvements that, being con- 
vinced that we needed a new and larger dining-room, as 
we certainly did, he urged me to let him lend me the money 
to build it and said he would ''make me something quite 
stunning" — as no doubt he would have done if I had been 

McKim and I had lots of good rides together; he was 
fond of riding and, of course, horses were an important 
feature of our life at Danskammer. But I have talked 
more than enough about horses already. The praises of 
my little chestnut mare Madge, with all her wicked 
charms, or good old Virginius, the thoroughbred that 
Robert Gordon gave my daughter when he went to live 
in England, must remain unsung. 

Many friendships of which I have already spoken were 
revived in those pleasant Danskammer days. Vedder 
came once, and so did Nevin and Saint Gaudens, and May- 
nard often stayed with us — a good friend and a good painter, 
we are all fond of him. McKim came again and again. 
Stanford White and I had lots of fun one time, staining 
plaster casts with tobacco juice and coloring some por- 
trait medaHions that I had brought from Italy. We rubbed 
them with all sorts of weird mixtures of our own invention, 
and waxed them, and touched them up with gold, so that 
they were quite effective. 

Saint Gaudens liked our place, but he was never crazy 
about violent exercise, and I remember when, to see the 
view, we made him climb to the top of Beacon Hill — so 
called because they used to light beacon fires there during 



the Revolution — he told us a story of a Frenchman who, 
after a similar experience, remarked breathlessly to a 
friend : 

"Aimcz-vous les beautes de la nature? — Moi, je les ab- 
horre !" 

I had gone to Danskammer with the idea of making 
a hving out of fruit farming, and I went in for peaches on 
quite a large scale; at one time I had a peach orchard of 
over three thousand trees and several acres of grapes. There 
is no more beautiful crop than fruit. The great wagon 
that went up to the Marlborough dock loaded with baskets 
was something to be proud of — even the air along the road 
on those warm summer evenings was sweet with the scent — 
and only those who have lived on a fruit farm know what 
really good fruit is. When fruit is absolutely perfect it is 
just a little too ripe for shipping, and that perfect fruit we 
used to eat ourselves — such huge strawberries, such melt- 
ing peaches, such bunches of purple and white grapes — I 
never expect to see their hke again. But before long the 
"yellows" played havoc with my trees, for there was little 
expert agricultural knowledge to be had in those days, and 
although, take it all in all, I made a good deal of money 
out of my fruit, I am incHned to agree on the whole with 
the farmer who told an inquiring friend: "Why, yes, you 
can make money off a farm — the farther off the better." 

So after a while I took up the making of stained-glass 
windows in addition to my farming, and in time it became 
my real lifework. No man was ever happier in his choice 
of work; the years have gone only too fast. They have 
been crowded with hard work but all the happier for that 
— I have always liked hard work — and for some years I 
have had my daughter Helen as my partner. I think our 
work together has been good work, and in this, as in every 


other relation of our lives, no two people have ever been 
happier together than she and I. 

The story of our twenty years at Danskammer would 
be too long to tell here and, I am afraid, too simple to in- 
terest any one but ourselves. So we will leave the old place 
with a kindly letter of farewell from an old friend who loved 
it. When Doctor Donald wrote in 1902 we were no longer 
hving at Danskammer, only spending a few weeks there 
one September. 

"... Just how long ago it is that I first saw Dans- 
kammer, I cannot accurately say. The first vivid remem- 
brance is of my entering the library and being arrested 
by the fire-place mantel, never having seen its like or, for 
that matter, its equal. All else fades away from that first 
visit. Then I went up on Margaret's birthday, in Sep- 
tember, of course, and McKim was there, and we had a 
picnic on the Point and a queer dog — whose name was 
something like Tabbo. Ah ! he was so attractively weird 
a creature that his name should live with that of George 
Bowow or the Vicar of Morwenstow — walked the long 
way round, while Lance — yes, that was the setter's name 
— swam over the little bay. And in the evening we sang, 
McKim and I — and played games, made bad verses; and 
then to bed. How it all stands out and how cosy and snug 
and happy one's venerable memory is as it unveils its sim- 
ple and beautiful treasures. 

"Many times thereafter I went to Danskammer; when 
the sweet peas in the garden were at their best, and the 
cherries were ripe and when the grapes were purple and 
perfumed. Once, when the snow was over all. Then Alex- 
ander's big hands and broad a's — he was a magnificent 
type of fidelity, common sense and self-respect. And the 



leisurely, human, companionable, lively, peaceable bread- 
breakings in the dining-room, (my seat was always toward 
Albany). There were strawberries dropped into our plates 
direct from the hand of God, which never knew the ex- 
haustion of travel or the impudent soiHng fmgers of grocers, 
on which no price had ever been set and — as Maitland 
knows — no profit ever made. And the morning sun glanced 
on the shining water of the river and bounded up into our 
laps. And the turf and the trees whispered, chattered and 
slept. We were the first folk on the first day — all being 

"And one day I went with the cliildrcn and stood be- 
side the pkice in the Churchyard where little Bayard sleeps, 
and heard a voice assuring us of immortality, since what 
has once really lived never dies. 

"And then came the last time — now nine years ago — 
when I christened Hamilton. That was the end, I fear. 
But so long as I keep a memory it will possess dear Dans- 
kammer, and the dearer people who made it dear to me. 
Happy innocent days ! An old man thanks God for them. 
And he puts on paper — just why, he knows not — his 
thoughts, knowing how foohsh they will seem to-morrow 
at Danskammer, yet willing they should so seem, if they 
shall serve to keep him just a little alive to the kind hearts 
who watch the glowing logs." 

And so these memories of mine come to an end where 
they began — at Danskammer.